Swire Group

Residents urged to oppose development

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 March, 2008, 12:00am

An environmental group is asking residents of a Mid-Levels development to request that a developer lower the density of a proposed two-tower, 50-storey project before they sell their flats to the consortium.

Merry Terrace in Seymour Road - five 14-storey buildings - will be turned into the 50-storey redevelopment if most of the flat owners agree to sell. Reports said most residents had agreed to sell to the consortium, formed by Shun Tak Holdings and New World Development.

Green Sense said the redevelopment - together with a neighbouring site owned by Swire - would aggravate traffic and air pollution.

Gabrielle Ho Ka-po, of Green Sense, said the organisation had written to all residents of Merry Terrace hoping they would help alleviate the development stress in Mid-Levels.

The Shun Tak-New World consortium is believed to have acquired the bid for HK$3.95 billion. Shun Tak Holdings would not confirm yesterday whether the company had acquired the bid.

Given a plot ratio of nine, a plan for the redevelopment - two 44-storey buildings with six-level podiums - was approved last November.

'The developer is willing to pay a handsome price because it will profit from building the giant towers,' said Ms Ho, who admitted concern over the impact of the development and the neighbouring site.

The Swire-owned project, adjoining Castle Steps and Seymour Road, involves a tower - either 48 floors atop a six-storey podium or 63 floors on a four-level podium - with a plot ratio of about 7.56. The Town Planning Board had rejected the development, but Swire successfully appealed last year. The board decided to appeal against the decision and the outcome is pending.

A Merry Terrace representative could not be reached for comment.