Reject URA’s A/H3/435 Planning Application

Central and Western Concern Group 中西區關注組 Leave a Comment

Reject URA’s A/H3/435 Planning Application
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3039 SIGNATURES OBTAINED, THIS CAMPAIGN ENDED ON May 12, 2017

Town Planning Board,

The Staunton Street, Shing Wong Street and Wing Lee Street neighbourhood is one of the most historic areas in the Central/Sheung Wan District with low-rise tenements, terraces, lanes and stepped streets. Since 2008, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has been buying properties in this area for a large urban redevelopment scheme known as H19. In 2011, the Government removed Wing Lee Street from the redevelopment scheme. In 2013, the URA announced it would preserve the tenement building at Nos. 88-90 Staunton Street and build a 13-storey medium-rise along Shing Wong Street to preserve the neighbourhood’s character. Now, the URA has put forward a new scheme which will pull down Nos. 88-90 Staunton Street and all tenements within the redevelopment area, and build two (20+ storeys) high-rise residential/commercial towers in our historic neighbourhood.

This is against the conservation initiatives by the Chief Executive-designate Mrs Carrie Lam who pledged to conserve Central/Sheung Wan’s historic areas.This new URA scheme will result in irreversible damage to the environment, increase traffic pressure and overwhelm our unique, historic neighbourhood with no community benefits.

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To Town Planning Board,

Objection to Application A/H3/435

I would like to register my strong objection to the Urban Renewal Authority’s planning application A/H3/435, for the following reasons:

  1. The Staunton Street, Shing Wong Street and Wing Lee Street neighbourhood is one of the most historic areas in the Central/Sheung Wan District with low-rise tenements, terraces, lanes and stepped streets. It is in close vicinity to PMQ, the conserved Bridges Street Market and Dr Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail. The URA’s current application with two high-rise towers (20+ storeys) will destroy this historic neighbourhood.
  2. In its 2013 Approved Scheme, with Wing Lee Street removed from redevelopment, the URA committed to conserve the tenement building at Nos. 88-90 Staunton Street and build a 13-storey medium-rise along Shing Wong Street to preserve the character of the stepped street. The current application ignores this commitment – URA will demolish Nos. 88-90 Staunton Street and increase the building height drastically from 13 to 21 storeys. This is against the planning intention with no genuine planning gains nor inclusion of community facilities. This application must be rejected. Nos. 88-90 Staunton Street should be preserved in accordance with the planning brief.
  3. The Central & Western District Council (DC) unanimously passed a motion on 16 March 2017 strongly opposing the URA scheme. DC urged the TPB to reject URA’s application so as to preserve the existing community ambience of H19.
  4. Blocks of tenements have been renovated by owners in both Site B and Site C. They have contributed to the unique character of this historic neighbourhood. These properties should be retained.
  5. The URA application is flawed with serious misrepresentations regarding building condition and the District Council’s view. It tried to mislead the public and the TPB – it is unacceptable.
  6. The URA scheme is against the conservation initiatives of the Chief Executive-designate Mrs Carrie Lam who pledged to conserve Central/Sheung Wan’s historic areas. The high-rise towers will overwhelm the Wing Lee Street, Shing Wong Street and Staunton Street neighbourhood, increase building density and result in irreversible damage to the Old City area.
  7. Aberdeen Street and Staunton Street are already overloaded with serious traffic congestion, URA’s increase in development intensity is unacceptable.

I strongly request the Town Planning Board to reject URA’s application.

 

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This petition was started by Central and Western Concern Group 中西區關注組 on May 7, 2017, with an end date of May 12, 2017.

We are heritage conservation and better urban planning advocacy group based in Central, Hong Kong.

The Central & Western Concern Group advocates good urban planning and better heritage conservation in Hong Kong and is specifically involved in information- giving to the public; organizing our own community initiatives and activities; meeting government officials; making strongly-researched submissions to government and statutory planning authorities; and, initiating applications to the Town Planning Board under the provisions of the Town Planning Ordinance.


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