Ocean Park told to lower hotels

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 December, 2008, 12:00am

Ocean Park's hotel plans have been approved by the Town Planning Board, but it has been told to further lower the height of two of the three hotels.

The board decided yesterday that not only the eight-storey Ocean Hotel near the park's entrance, but also the 14-storey Fisherman's Wharf Hotel at the headland, would have to lower their building heights. The former would need to be lower to blend in with the low-rise environment at Shouson Hill, while the latter would have to blend in with nearby shrub land.

Board members also required that the designs of the two buildings, and the smaller Spa Hotel, should be revised to make them less monolithic.

The park's chairman, Allan Zeman, said in a statement that the park would make sure the plans complied with the board's recommendations.

He said the designs were not yet final, and only those that were in line with the park's mandate of education and conservation would be selected.

Meanwhile, the board rejected the Conservancy Association's rezoning proposal for the site of Hopewell Centre II, formerly known as the Mega Tower.

The green group had proposed to rezone the tree-covered government land within the site as green belt, so that the developer would leave the hundreds of trees intact while building the conference hotel on its own share of land, which occupied half the site area.

The board members contended that rezoning would not alter the fact that the hotel plan had gained planning approval in 1994, the board's spokeswoman said.

But members also urged the government to take more initiatives in preserving the trees, such as listing clear requirements in the upcoming land exchange applications with the developer.

Staying power

Ocean Park is spending HK$5.5 billion on a six-year redevelopment

This does not include its three hotels, which in their first year are expected to boost the number of visits by: 36,800