Bel-Air developer criticised for demolishing HK$100m pavilion

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, 12:00am

The developer of the Bel-Air luxury residential development at Cyberport in Pok Fu Lam has come under fire from an environmental group after demolishing a luxury waterfront pavilion.

The pavilion, which cost the developer HK$100 million to build, decorate and furnish and was used to promote phase eight of the project, had been in use for less than two years before it was demolished in January.

Located outside the Cyberport shopping complex, the large single-storey structure was made of concrete with a landscaped garden and a model luxury clubhouse next to it.

Housing four types of flat, totalling 9,300 sq ft, the pavilion had been deserted for months after nearly all 700 flats in the luxury apartment were sold in the second half of last year.

'When it was built, I thought it was something to be made permanent for the residents but later I found out it was purely for showroom purposes,' said Ms Fok, a resident who filed a complaint about the demolition to Friends of the Earth.

'It is a complete waste as the unit was actually a livable house. It would have been better if it was kept there without being dismantled. Now that the whole site has been bulldozed it is as if nothing had ever been built there.'

A spokeswoman for the developer, Pacific Century Premium Developments, said it had tried its best to reuse and recycle items installed inside the show flats - mostly luxury and designer brands - as much as possible.

But she could not provide details about what had actually been reused or disposed of. She said that while some items were purchased by residents or moved to the development's clubhouse, it was inevitable that some un-recyclable items might end up in landfills.

'Since the flats are pre-sold before completion, a show flat is built,' she said.

'We believe there is nothing special about this practice, which is similarly adopted by other developers.'

She added that the developer had at one time considered keeping the structure but it had to be removed because the site was government land and had to be vacated for a drainage project.

Friends of the Earth environmental affairs officer Michelle Au Wing-tsz said she was disappointed the developer had failed to take into account the need to avoid unnecessary wastage. 'The developer could still have achieved the marketing purpose with a traditional show flat constructed indoors,' she said.