Sun Hung Kai Properties

Favouritism denied over West Kowloon

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 September, 2005, 12:00am

The government yesterday denied it was in favour of a particular bidder for the controversial West Kowloon cultural project despite the developer being allowed to put up advertising panels at the site.

The Democratic Party questioned the government's fairness after it allowed Sun Hung Kai Properties to erect 50-metre-long advertising panels.

Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat wrote to Director of Lands Patrick Lau Lai-chiu saying the government was suspected of favouring Sun Hung Kai, and asked if the Lands Department would withdraw the developer's right to use the surrounding fences.

A Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau spokesman said Sun Hung Kai had been awarded a short-term tenancy from February this year to December next year. The site, used for a nine-hole golf course, is close to The Arch, the property firm's luxury residential project above Kowloon Station.

Under the contract, the property giant will pay a monthly rent of $258,000 for 48,100 square metres - about 10 per cent of the site designated for the cultural hub project.

Meanwhile, a temporary waterfront promenade at the West Kowloon Cultural District site will open to the public from Saturday night, allowing people to view the moon on the eve of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The 600-metre path and 400-metre promenade will be lined with 70 lanterns.