Town Planning Board,
I OBJECT to the proposed changes and additions to Hopewell Center II.
I refer to the DPO/HK Planning Department letter dated 21 February 2017 “inviting public comments on the planning application which is in your neighbourhood”. I find it an imposition that a developer can continue to move the goal posts by submitting a new s.16.application to by-pass previous public objections on A/H5/403 ( in May 2015). This latest submission of A/H5/408 is being presented as “design enhancements and refinements” to the 2009 scheme. However, after seeing the gist this submission is almost the same as A/H5/403. Therefore I resubmit my previous objection with the necessary annotation changes.
To reiterate my areas of general concern and objection:-
1. The proposed Flyover and Tunnel
More than 30 years ago Hopewell proposed to widen and improve Kennedy Road. There appear to be insurmountable technical difficulties with placing the flyover, tunnel, and slip-road subway into our narrow and constrained Kennedy Road. After all these years the developer has still NOT be able to submit engineering plans to demonstrate technical viability and SAFETY.
A Resident’s Meeting arranged by WanChai Councillors on 13 Feb 2017 was attended by Hopewell, AECOM (Hopewell’s new planning engineering representatives) and relevant government departments. AECOM admitted that the standard “sight-distance” of 70 metres applicable to Kennedy Road could NOT be met. They are proposing 50 metres, but there are strong doubts that even this absolute minimum could NOT be achieved.
The applicant has OMITTED any drawing or detail of this controversial Flyover in A/H5/408.
It appears that the applicant is again trying to EVADE this essential SAFETY issue, which will ENDANGER all drivers using Kennedy Road. This is UNETHICAL and TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and MUST BE REJECTED.
The Commissioner of Transport requires that the road works must be treated “holistically” and must be officially approved before building work on the site can start. This A/H5/408 submission is still attempting to treat the road works in a piece-meal manner.
Therefore AH5/408 should be REJECTED.
2. The proposed Ballroom and Exhibition facilities on the Park
Size, location, traffic impact, environmental impact, improper use of planning zone, unsuitable for this residential neighbourhood.
3. The proposed QRE Back Lane
No genuine planning gain, and was gazetted as a service lane and is required for emergency vehicular access (EVA).
4. The enlarged Podium
a) The podium profile, footprint, and visual impact are major revisions to the 2008 agreement.
b) The massive podium is too dominant on all sides – Kennedy Road, Ship Street, and Queen’s Road East. Therefore it should be REJECTED.
5. The Road Works at Kennedy Road
Intrusive and inappropriate in a residential neighbourhood, engineering standards NOT technically feasible and NOT demonstrated, major public road SAFETY concerns, threaten old banyan trees in public land. This is UNACCEPTABLE.
6. The downgrading of the Parks
Both public & private parks have poor public access, on podiums with limited soil for tree growth. The “greenery park” promised is now a roof garden raised on high podiums with shrubs instead of large trees. This is UNACCEPTABLE.
It appears that the applicant’s prime purpose in submitting this new.16 is to push through the massive podium accommodating ballroom and exhibition facilities over the park area ; and slip the roads works and environmental issues beyond the purview of the Board. This A/H5/408 should be REJECTED.