Police snag over Tolo hotel plan
A government proposal to develop a 900-room hotel in Ma On Shan is under a cloud because the Marine Police do not want to surrender the site.
The Planning Department has set aside a 0.8-hectare vacant site on the waterfront at Tolo Harbour for hotel development.
The Government aims to dispose of the site through public sale as soon as possible.
However, Director of Lands Bob Pope said the sale could run into problems because the Royal Hong Kong Police Force was reluctant to give up the site.
The Crown site, in the heart of Ma On Shan town, was originally granted to the Marine Police for its headquarters building.
Lacking funds to develop the site, the police force is applying to move its permanent base to a site in Ma Liu Shui, Sha Tin, which now houses the temporary Marine Police Base.
Mr Pope said the force did not want to give up the Ma On Shan site until the Government Property Agency had given assurances it would get the Ma Liu Shui site.
A spokesman for the police force said the department could face difficulty in obtaining the government agency's approval because the site would be under-utilised if the proposed three-storey tower was built.
This could delay disposal of the hotel site.
A town planner said the Government had reserved the Ma On Shan site because it was suitable for hotel use.
It had a sea view and was surrounded by landscaped public open space and other recreational facilities. The site is next to the Government's proposed 600,000 sq ft Ma On Shan Town Park and is close to urban council recreational facilities, including a swimming pool.
A transport network would be available, with proposed pedestrian walkways and existing internal roads running through the large housing estates in the area, according to the planner.
Behind the land site are the massive Bayshore Towers residential development of Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Henderson Land Development's Sunshine City.
The planner said the site would have a plot ratio of seven times, providing a potential gross floor area of about 600,000 sq ft.
The Government has also reserved land for the construction of a public pier next to the proposed hotel development. A ferry service is planned along the lines of the Gold Coast Hotel near Tuen Mun.
Planning authorities are expected to revise the zoning plan for the district and all planning work for the site is forecast to be completed next month or in August.