Planners demand wind corridors at Oil Street development site

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 August, 2007, 12:00am

The waterfront site of the former government supplies depot in Oil Street must have three wind corridors to avoid a wall effect and improve ventilation in the area, the Town Planning Board said yesterday.

The board's metro planning committee accepted the Planning Department's brief for the North Point site after considering its air-ventilation study report.

The report suggested three parallel wind corridors - along Oil Street, in the middle part of the site from Electric Road to the harbour front, and along the northeastern boundary of the site. The department also said tree planting should be considered along Oil Street to reduce strong onshore winds.

The committee's vice-chairman, Greg Wong Chak-yan, suggested allowing developers to build footbridges linking blocks at the site, which is permitted to have a maximum gross floor area of 70,200 square metres.

'It is not necessary to have footbridges on each floor, but perhaps on four to five floors,' he said.

Chief town planner Phyllis Li Chi-miu said it was feasible to have footbridges.

'If the footbridges are high enough, they will not affect ventilation in the area,' she said.

Eastern District Council vice-chairman Wong Kwok-hing said three wind corridors were enough but they should not be all in the same direction.

Dr Wong said it would be better for the Lands Department to stipulate the width of the wind corridors in the lease.

But committee member Maggie Chan Man-ki said setting width restrictions would make it less flexible for potential developers.

Lands Department assistant director James Merritt said the lease would neither show the wind corridors nor require an air-ventilation study.

But any master layout plan of the site that developers submit to the metro planning committee for approval must comply with the planning brief endorsed yesterday.

The height restrictions of the site are 100 metres for commercial buildings closest to the harbour and 120 metres for residential buildings on the landward side of the site.