Hong Kong Island


---Victoria Harbour

---Pokfulam / Route 7
---Pokfulam / Sandy Bay

---Aberdeen Harbour


- Lantau North
---Macau Bridge
---Lantau East - Route 10

- Lantau South
---Hei Ling Chau Prison

New Territories

---Sham Tseng
(Castle Peak Road)

---Shekou Bridge

---Tseung Kwan O
(formerly Junk Bay - proposed Western Coast Road)

Lamma Island
--- Yung Shue Wan

--- Kai Tak Redevelopment


Victoria Harbour - for the "Society for the Protection of the Harbour" ? click here


Government Hill must not become "Developer Hill" - it is Not For Sale

... for the powerpoint presentation ..click here


2006 -

"Government Hill is certain to be on the auction block if moving CGO to Tamar is approved" John Bowden, Chairman SOS.

Four years later, 2010 - Government announced a "consultation" where the stated

"The West Wing, a standalone building built in 1959, WILL BE demolished for commercial development."

So Government has finally revealed the real reason for building the new Government Office at Tamar and destroying part of our shoreline - to take an extremely useful and valuable building on Government Hill away from the Community and give it to a developer to destroy, and also destroy "Government Hill" itself by hollowing it out.

The community needs this building. Save our Shorelines reminds the Government that the land is zoned "COMMUNITY" and it is NOT FOR SALE.

For more on the history of "Government Hill" ... view the Powerpoint presentation click here





Tamar ...
Green Light to sell Government Hill to developers.

Will this be the new face of Central?

South China Moning Post - CHLOE LAI - Saturday, May 20, 2006

(Click image to zoom)

"... Officials suggested last summer that selling [Government hill] would cover Tamar's development cost."

"Government Hill is certain to be on the auction block if moving CGO to Tamar is approved"
John Bowden, Chairman SOS.



Sign the petition to
stop them
in co-operation with
Clear The Air
... click here




What happens if the offices move
and what happens to the CGO site afterwards

To the director of Administraion, Friday May 19th 2006

click here for .pdf file


Activists warn of the impact if prime government site is exploited to the full

Three 70-storey towers providing 5.4 million sq ft of office space could be built on a podium at the site of the Central Government Offices if the land goes into private hands and is developed to its full potential, harbour activists warn.

John Bowden, chairman of Save Our Shorelines, said the city would either have a three-tower development on Lower Albert Road that would be taller than The Peak, or four 50-storey towers which would create a wall effect, altering air flow and blocking the views of Mid-Levels residents.

He described the group's estimate as conservative, since developers could easily boost density by increasing the plot ratio.

"The [Central Government Offices] site is currently covered to less than 10 per cent of its potential," Mr Bowden said, adding that the site had no height restriction, while ridge-line protection was non-binding. Ridge-line protection refers to the recommendation that views to the ridges and peaks be partly building-free.

Officials have so far refused to discuss the future of the site if the government moves its headquarters to Tamar. However, officials suggested last summer that selling the site would cover Tamar's development cost.

The harbour group believed a podium would likely be built in any office tower development because it would create retail rental space.

According to a government-commissioned report on the development potential of the offices' West Wing, released two months ago, there was retail potential if the site was used for commercial purposes.

The report also said it was possible for developers to increase the site's density and plot ratio.

"It is traditional for developers to seek to maximise the gross floor area and the plot ratio through the dedication of ground floor areas to public use and as a result, secure an increase in the gross floor area equivalent to five times the amount dedicated," the report said.

"We would anticipate that much of the podium deck at the Lower Albert Road level will be dedicated to public use, and indeed, on the basis of some very preliminary calculations, it may be possible to achieve an increase in the plot ratio/gross floor area to the maximum permitted, namely 18:1."

Mr Bowden said that relocating the government headquarters to Tamar "holds the potential for further damage to the environment if the land is sold for commercial redevelopment".

He also warned of increased traffic congestion and an impact on air quality if the site was built to the maximum potential.

According to a ten-year old Government study, the existing CGO buildings are grossly under-utilized, and it is now clear that following the relocation of government premises to the Tamar site they could be developed in future into three seventy-storey towers that would impact the Central skyline blocking the Peak forever. This is illustrated in a report issued on 19th May by the community group Save Our Shorelines, which questions the government’s separation of Tamar Development plans from redevelopment plans at the Central Government Office mid-level sites when the various bureaus move.

SOS Chair John Bowden says: “Assuming standard commercial development plot ratios in Hong Kong, the site would be of enormous financial value. However, if the site is fully developed there will be huge environmental impacts. If height restrictions are imposed then the values drop, and the landsale will not bring the community any real benefit at all. It’s a lose-lose situation”. The group suggests that the existing CGO and Murray Road offices should be retained and retrofitted at far less cost - and with less waste - than the proposed new 30 and 40-storey offices at Tamar. All the required facilities could be accommodated there and additional space could be provided for Legco offices by redeveloping the Murray Road Car Park, site of the current ICAC offices.

Santa Raymond – office specialist and author of the book ‘Tomorrow’s Office’, an in-depth study of the commercial workplace, commenting on the administrations’ reluctance to retain and improve the existing Central Government Offices says: “With wireless networking, and comprehensive workplace planning, the existing space can certainly be retrofitted to the highest standards to meet current and future needs. Disruption can be minimised by careful phasing, and huge cost savings are possible. This is what responsible governments and corporations are doing all over the world”.

The SOS report also refers to community concerns that the strong feng shui associated with the current CGO site would not be replicated at Tamar and might lead to fears that benefits currently enjoyed at the CGO sites would be lost to the Government in the future.

SOS supports proposals recently presented to the Legco Subcommittee on Planning and Works that show the Tamar site developed as low level, small plot sizes reminiscent of Shanghais’ Xin Tian Di. Bowden added “ we believe that the right solution is for Government to remain in its existing historic centre, to re-fit at lower cost and add space there to improve the way they work and to retain the shoreline sites for low level commercial development that will have a long term value for the community”.

Representatives from SOS met on Friday with the Director of Administration to present the report and to ask why the CGO retention and improvement option had been dismnissed without a comprehensive study of the financial benefits being completed.

... SOS says "save Tamar and Government Hill - use the Murray Road Carpark site for more space"


SOS Submission to the Town Planning Board - updated Jul 2005

We do not need a Bypass - but if we can't stop the Govenrment from building one, then put it under the water!

SOS has made a submission to the Town Planning Board that shows that the proposed Central Wanchai Bypass can be put under water - we can remove almost all the reclamation. Two consulting reports by Hyder and Maunsell showed that this was feasible from the very beginning and there was at least one original tender that showed the bypass built mostly underwater. So what happened? Why did the Government start the reclaimation and why won't they stop?

Here are two views of the harbour. One is the way it should be, the other is the proposal for Wanchai.

View from Convention Centre Today - under water "Bypass" can be built. (click to zoom)

Proposed surface road nicknamed P2 on top of the underground "Bypass" (click to zoom)

Why did they choose the more expensive option?

Comparison of costs Reclamation vs. Underwater "Bypass"

Costs from the 'Item for the Public Works subcommittee of the Finance Committee'
Central reclamation phase III - engineering works

In millions of HK$ - Elements of CR III

  Reclamation Plan Underwater Plan Elements of Central Reclamation III engineering works
a 456 91 Reclamation
b 444 444 Seawalls
c 115 0 Road works
d 149 149 Depressed road and underpass
e 32 32 Public transport interchanges
f 90 90 Footbridge and covered walkway
g 43 0 Sewerage and drainage works in reclamation
h 254 254 Box culverts
i 32 32 hinterland drainage improvements
j 39 39 PLA berth
k 442 442 Ferry piers and public piers
l 44 0 Waterfront pumping stations for future developments
m 271 0 Reprovisioning of Gevernment cooling water pumping systems
n 348 0 Reprovisioning of private cooling water pumping systems
o 116 116 Relocation of Govt. helipad and PCWA
p 56 56 Landscaping
q 15 15 EM&A programme
r 325 325 Consultant fees
s 20 20 NCSC staff
t 329 329 Contingencies
u -59 -59 Price Adjustments
  3,562 2,376 TOTALS
      HK$ 1,186 Billion Savings



SOS-Harbour-with-P2 (no text)

SOS-Harbour-without-P2 (no text)

SOS Central Central Reclamation Plan - English

SOS Cross section - Central Reclamation Plan - English

Government Central Reclamation Plan - English


SOS-Harbour-with-P2 (no text)

SOS-Harbour-without-P2 (no text)

SOS Central Central Reclamation Plan - Chinese

SOS Cross section - Central Reclamation Plan - Chinese

Government Central Reclamation Plan - Chinese


Saturday, November 1, 2003

South China Morning Post

Harbour tender 'breaches WTO rules'
Contract process for Central project was unfair and should be started again, says review panel


The controversial Central reclamation project has been thrown into further jeopardy after the government was found to have breached World Trade Organisation tendering rules in awarding the contract.
In a ruling handed down on Thursday, a review panel said the government was not being fair in changing the tendering conditions of the third phase of the reclamation after the tender was closed.

The result of changing the conditions was that the contractor which submitted the lowest bid, China Harbour Engineering Company, failed to be awarded the contract, which went to a joint venture between Leighton Contractors, China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) and Dutch marine works firm Van Oord ACZ, whose bid was worth $3.8 billion.

While the ruling of the Review Body on Bid Challenges is not legally binding, it has recommended the project be retendered. The ruling has added a new twist to the controversy surrounding the project, which has been mothballed pending the outcome of a legal challenge by the Society for the Protection of the Harbour that the Central-Wan Chai reclamations breach the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance. The bone of contention involved the cost of works related to the Central-Wan Chai bypass. The government originally required the cost of building the bypass to take up at least 33.7 per cent of the total cost of the phase three reclamation.

When the tender was closed on November 8, 2002, four contractors - Leighton, China Harbour, Penta-Ocean-Paul Y-BSGL Joint Venture and Gammon Skanska - put in their bids, but only China Harbour complied with the condition. But after learning that the reclamation might be jeopardised by a legal challenge from environmentalists, the Territory Development Department (TDD) proposed to the Central Tendering Board in January this year that the bypass cost be excluded from the evaluation.

The board took the advice. As a result, Leighton, whose tender scored highest in the assessment exercise after the tendering conditions were changed, was awarded the contract on February 6. On February 8, China Harbour requested a meeting with the TDD, hoping to raise an objection. The TDD did not reply and issued a letter of acceptance to Leighton on February 10.

China Harbour then challenged the tendering decision, saying it had not been told about the changes of the tendering conditions before the close of tender.

A three-member panel, chaired by Neil Kaplan, QC, was set up in April to consider the complaint.

The panel said while it did not dispute that the government must reserve the right to accept a non-compliant tender in some circumstances, the administration "did not act fairly or transparently".

"[China Harbour] complied with the condition. They were the lowest tenderer. Then without the [government] going back to them, the rug is pulled from under their feet," the panel said. It concluded there was "too much haste" in the tendering process and the government had violated the WTO's Government Procurement Agreement, which aims to maintain a fair, and transparent procurement process.

While the government's decision to change its tendering condition had effectively turned China Harbour's bid from the lowest to the highest, the tenderer was never made aware of it.

"The panel considers it unrealistic to recommend that the contract be given to China Harbour in place of Leighton, even though that is the inevitable conclusion of the panel's finding," it said.

"The panel considers that a fairer way of proceeding would be to ask both China Harbour and Leighton, to retender in the light of the position as it is now."

However, the panel conceded that the ruling was not legally binding and the government had to make its own decision on what course of action it had to take.

The government said last night it was still studying the ruling. China Harbour also said it was seeking professional advice.

A Leighton spokesman said the government had not discussed the option of retendering so far, but the company would be disappointed if such a decision were made.

Engineering sector legislator Raymond Ho Chung-tai said the government has a dilemma as it would face huge claims whether it decided to retender or not.