time we raise awareness - we succeed
- "Future of Central in the balance"
Three 70-storey towers providing 5.4 million
square feet 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.
The fung shui at the Central Government
Offices is far better than at the Tamar site and moving
the headquarters to a spot with poor fung shui could dent
people's confidence in the government, a report by activist
group Save Our Shorelines says. The report was based on
questions relating to the relocation of the government's
headquarters to the Tamar site.
It warns that moving the headquarters to
Tamar and selling the Central Government Offices' land to
the private sector may create public uncertainty in governance.
'The Government Hill represents the classic
geomantic form with the government [offices] and Government
House centrally located on a prominent rise with a mountain
behind, a green dragon [the Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware]
in the east and a white tiger [the Central Police Station]
in the west and the curve of the bay below,' it says.
But Tamar was on reclaimed land, which was
'unstable' in fung shui terms and had none of the natural
This is an edited version of articles by
Chloe Lai which appeared in the South China Morning Post
on May 20, 2006
- "Save the Harbour, implement road pricing first"
and gave our positive views at the "Expert Panel Forum
on Sustainable Transport Planning and Central - Wan Chai
Bypass" hosted by the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee.
Promoted "Save the Harbour, implement road pricing
2004 - August 2005 - "Any coastal road tunnel can be
built underwater without reclamation"
a presentation to the Town Planning Board that helped establish
that any coastal road tunnel can be built underwater, protecting
the natural shoreline. Reclamation is not necessary. Though
our recommendation to build the tunnel underwater at CRIII
was not accepted, it is clear now that in the future this
option must be presented to the public first, in order to
meet the Harbour Protection Ordinance.
- "Save the Harbour, implement road pricing first"
many of the public forums of the Harbour Front Enhancement
Committee promoting the message "Save the Harbour,
implement road pricing first"
year - "Wind turbines and the shoreline"
workshops given by CLP on their proposed placement of a
wind turbine required by the Government.
our objection to the reclamation plan of Hei Ling Chau Island
to build a super prison.
- Hong Kong's Hidden Heritage"
book describing the need to establish a shoreline
authority to identify correct uses and prevent misuse
of our Shorelines.
a copy (HK $100)
a presentation at LegCo objection to Route 4 (formerly Route
campaign at Queen's Pier to stop CRIII reclamation
to Central Reclamation Phase III and Wanchai Development
Phase II at LegCo
proposals to the Western Coastal Road project establishing
that if "free flow" tolling was established in
Hong Kong, there would be no need for a massive reclamation
project for a toll plaza for that road and tunnel.
to LegCo - Shenzhen Western Corridor, Deep Bay Link and
objected to the road Route 4 (originally named Route 7)
that would destroy the natural shoreline from Kennedy Town
to Aberdeen. Strongly promoted a rail system instead.
to the building of Route 10, which would destroy the shoreline
and not solve any traffic problems.