Activists urge police site be withdrawn

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am

Conservationists have called for a former police married quarters site in Central to be withdrawn from the land sale programme while its archaeological significance is determined.

They say there are signs that remains of the 19th-century Government Central School could have been unearthed on the Hollywood Road site during recent excavations by government archaeologists.

The call came after requests by district councillors and conservationists for the Antiquities and Monuments Office to release its report on the excavations were ignored.

Conservationists said yesterday they feared the office was trying to hide something. 'We cannot be too careful in handling this site,' said Katty Law Ngar-ning, Central and Western Concern Group spokeswoman. 'The area is rich in history.'

Central and Western District councillor Cyd Ho Sau-lan said the council had repeatedly asked the office to release its report. 'The officers only said they had found something there but refused to say what they had found,' said Ms Ho, referring to a meeting between councillors and office officials last Thursday.

The office said yesterday it would release the report next month.

The activists are fighting to have the land, bounded by Hollywood Road and Aberdeen, Shing Wong and Staunton streets, turned into a park. The plot is on the government's land application list, which means it could be put on sale at any time if a developer's bid triggers an auction.

But the discovery by government archaeologists could throw into doubt the sale of the 62,400-square-foot site for high-rise residential development.

The Government Central School was where Dr Sun Yat-sen studied.