Iconic tower too tall, town planner says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 September, 2007, 12:00am

A high-rise proposed for the Kwun Tong redevelopment site has been criticised for being 'too tall' and possibly disrupting the ridge line.

The 90-storey commercial tower - intended by the Urban Renewal Authority to be a district landmark - came under attack at a meeting of the Town Planning Board yesterday.

Board member Daniel To Boon-man said the height of the building far exceeded that of the APM mall in Kwun Tong and may destroy the continuity of the Kowloon hills' ridge line.

'An iconic building does not have to be tall,' he said. 'It will destroy the ridge line if one looks from some perspectives.'

But the authority's managing director, Billy Lam Chung-lun, said Kwun Tong residents supported the idea of having a landmark in the district. He said the intention in building an iconic high-rise tower was to maximise space between buildings. 'The tower is no doubt very tall but we have tried to make the zone as green as possible. We also hope to make it less dense when its height is increased.'

The board members' concern echoed that of the Planning Department, which called for more justification for the tower and another 170-metre residential building.

The commercial tower is one of the 122 characteristics of the draft plans that are said to reflect the aspirations of the community. The Kwun Tong project, costing HK$30 billion, would accommodate 600,000 people.