Wide support for Central Police Station redevelopment plan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 May, 2008, 12:00am

There is wide support for plans to revitalise the historic Central Police Station compound, but concerns about the size of a proposed tower at the site, a public consultation has found.

A report summarising the public's views has been submitted to the government by the Jockey Club, which, together with the Development Bureau, carried out the consultation.

The six-month consultation was launched last October to gauge public opinion on the project proposed by the Jockey Club. A total of 567 written submissions were received and more than 50 presentations and briefings held to explain the proposal.

A conservation management plan incorporating public views on the heritage site would now be prepared, a spokeswoman for the Jockey Club said. The public generally supported the proposed non-profit-making approach to revitalise the compound and appreciated the Jockey Club's commitment to undertake the project, a spokesman for the Development Bureau said.

However, a proposed 160-metre transparent tower designed atop the complex attracted considerable discussion. Some said it was too overwhelming and not in harmony with the heritage site, while others claimed the spikes on top of the building would have an adverse effect on the fung shui of the district.

The HK$1.8 billion proposal exceeds the 77-metre height limit under guidelines agreed by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2004.

In a motion passed by the Central and Western District Council in March, the government was urged to reduce the height of the tower.

A Jockey Club spokeswoman yesterday said the club had kept an open mind on the proposed design and would take into account all the views when finalising the detailed design of the project.

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said the project would have to go through the Town Planning Board and a traffic impact assessment was required.

The Jockey Club said that at least two medium-sized performance venues would have to be scrapped if the proposed 77-metre tower was scaled back.