An illegal waste dump near a Tin Shui Wai estate has been officially converted into a golf course.

The course opened for business last Saturday, after the waste dump was found to have been flattened in January. An official from the Planning Department told Apple Daily that the development was legal, as golf courses were permitted on land designated for recreational purposes. The land is owned by the government and Li’s Development and Consultant (Hong Kong) Limited.

The course provides barbecuing facilities for rent, and food and beverage vendors. However, it has not requested a licence from the Food and Hygiene Bureau.

tin shui wai golf course food vendor
A food vendor at the golf driving range.

Located near Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai, the approximately 30,000 square hectare dump began its transformation last June. This construction effort included skylights, tents, and other structures.

Managed by Trueland Driving Range Limited, which was established in September 2015, the course was advertised to local residents who were offered cash coupons in the post. The company’s management office refused to tell Apple Daily whether it was built on a dump, though a staffer on site confirmed its prior status.

tin shui wai golf course
Golf ranges at Tin Shui Wai.

Lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-Yu said that he believes the government is covertly encouraging the continued existence of waste dumps. He also expressed concern that the surface of the waste dump may not be able to withstand the large flow of people, with a potential risk of future collapse.

Jun Pang is an independent writer and researcher. She has previously worked in NGOs advocating for refugees' and migrants' rights in Asia and Europe.