Town Planning Board,
Historic Government Hill and Bishop Hill within Old Town Central is currently threatened by a huge private hospital development proposed by Sheng Kung Hui – please support Government Hill Concern Group’s planning application to protect this historic area!
Sheng Kung Hui’s plan is to replace an existing 7-storey hospital on Bishop Hill with a huge 25-storey hospital covering an area of 46,659 square metres, with three basement levels, 293 beds, 12 operating rooms and 90 car-parking spaces. This massive development will irreversibly destroy the historic ambience of Bishop Hill and Government Hill.
Bounded by Lower Albert Road, Glenealy and Caine Road, Bishop Hill is linked with Government Hill and the area is one of the most important heritage areas in Hong Kong. The Bishop Hill site, dating back to 1848 as the residence and office of the Bishop of Victoria (Anglican Church), has three Grade 1 historic buildings (the Bishop’s House, St. Paul’s Church and the Church Guest House) and one Grade 2 historic building (the Old SKH Kei Yan Primary School). Right next door is Government House (Declared Monument), Old Dairy Farm Depot (Grade 1), the Former Central Government Offices (Grade 1), St John’s Cathedral (Declared Monument) and the French Mission Building (Declared Monument). In short, the whole area is a precious cluster of historic buildings which lies at the heart of Old Town Central. To erect a 25-storey hospital building in the middle of the area will seriously damage this cultural landscape.
The proposed hospital development will be disastrous to the already overloaded traffic condition in the area. Serious traffic congestion is a daily occurrence on Hollywood Road, Wyndham Street, Glenealy, Ice House Street and beyond. It is impossible for the narrow streets in the area to sustain the additional traffic created by a big hospital which has a large number of patients, visitors, doctors and staff, bringing in more taxis, private cars, ambulances, supply trucks and so on.
Bishop Hill and Government Hill is currently a GIC (Government, Institute and Community) zone which unfortunately has no height restriction or development control. Since 2009, the Government has, through its “Conserving Central” initiatives, conserved and rezoned the sites of the Central Police Station Compound, Central Market, PMQ and Murray Building as heritage-related zones and imposed height restriction on each of them. It is important that Government Hill and Bishop Hill be given a heritage zoning and height restriction to protect it from overdevelopment.
The Government Hill Concern Group has made an application to the Town Planning Board to rezone the Government Hill and Bishop Hill area as “Heritage Precinct” and to impose a height restriction on the area. The application is now open for public comments until 9 February 2018. We invite members of the public to support this application and sign this petition.