Problems in an old building

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 August, 2003, 12:00am

I refer to the letter 'Tackling construction-site pollution' (Sunday Morning Post, August 10).

I do not share the view of M.J. Stokoe (acting director of environmental protection) that decreasing convictions suggest environmental pollution is under control. It could mean otherwise - that pollution is out of control but within the limits of laws expanded to protect construction schedules.

We have been suffering from noise, dust and vibration from piling work and the Kowloon-Canton Railway expansion programme being carried out on three sides of our building at 15-19 Carnarvon Road. With the foundations being shaken, the elderly cannot enjoy afternoon naps or students study and we cannot enjoy listening to music or watching TV. Electronic devices have failed, water pipes burst and walls cracked.

The Buildings Department was sympathetic but could help only if we reported a structural defect. So we went to the Environmental Protection Department, which refused to accept our complaint, as the work was taking place within the legal time of 7am to 7pm.

We gave up. The building is a landmark in a zone being redeveloped as a hotel-residential-commercial complex. Its like is described in Leung Chun-ying's article 'The perils of throwaway buildings' (May 21).

But the Planning Department sees the building as satisfying the principles for heritage preservation.

Who can save us and our building? Perhaps Jeremy Newton can ('Solution for old buildings', May 25). Or maybe the Green Room at the University of Hong Kong has the answer ('Building a new mindset', June 1).