Wan Chai protest over flyover, tunnel for new Hopewell tower

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 July, 2009, 12:00am
 

About 80 Wan Chai residents took to the streets yesterday in renewed protests against the controversial Hopewell Centre II development.

The protesters said a flyover and a tunnel planned to connect the 55-storey hotel tower with Kennedy Road would worsen traffic congestion and affect their quality of life.

Led by Wan Chai district councillor Peggy Lee Pik-yee, the residents marched from Wu Chung House on Queen's Road East to the government headquarters in Central. A government representative received their petition.

Ms Lee said residents were unhappy because the proposed flyover and tunnel would not benefit neighbours 'The developer should keep things inside their construction site and not encroach upon public land.'

Resident Lai Shiu-kwan said Kennedy Road was too narrow for more traffic, and it was unreasonable that two private housing sites would have their slopes cut to allow hotel access.

A spokeswoman for the developer, Hopewell Holdings, said public consultation for the project had ended, and objectors' comments would now be dealt with by the government.

The project, known as Mega Tower before it was scaled down from 93 storeys, has faced bitter opposition. Residents argued that the massive building, approved in 1994, would bring traffic congestion and block views. In response, the developer cut the height to 55 storeys, halving the number of hotel rooms to 1,024.

It cleared the last departmental hurdle in January when its traffic impact assessment was approved by the Transport Department. Construction is expected to start next year and be completed in 2014.

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