Bases deal includes new hospital project

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 May, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 May, 1994, 12:00am

A MULTI-MILLION dollar hospital is to be built in Kowloon as part of a tentative agreement over military sites due to be finalised this week between Hong Kong and China.

The new complex will replace the British Military Hospital (BMH) in Wylie Road, King's Park, which will be demolished at a date to be finalised.

When the BMH and nearby government flats at King's Park are torn down, the prime land will be freed for luxury projects.

Originally, plans were put forward to construct a purpose-built military hospital at Sek Kong to replace the ageing and partially used BMH.

But this has now been scrapped in favour of the new medical facility, which is likely to be built on land at Gun Club Hill Barracks in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The size and cost of the proposed hospital, which will be used by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), have not been finalised. But construction is planned to start before July 1, 1997.

Details of the hospital are likely to be finalised when Joint Liaison Group experts meet from Tuesday to Friday to sign an agreement on the disposal of military sites.

This is almost certain to pave the way for a series of related developments, including a new $1 billion naval base for the PLA on the south side of Stonecutters Island.

Land surveys have already been carried out on the site, which will be much larger than the existing British naval base, HMS Tamar, on the island. But construction will only begin when the JLG agrees on the military sites.

China wanted to have the facility completed before the handover so its navy could moor warships at the base from July 1, 1997.

According to a leaked document obtained by the Economic Journal, China has agreed to hand over 25 military sites, including four major areas, to the Hong Kong Government for development.

These include Blackdown Barracks in San Po Kong, the BMH, Perowne Camp, near Tuen Mun, and Tamar basin, which is due to be reclaimed later this year.

In addition, several British Army quarters have been freed up for development, including Royden Court in Repulse Bay, Harcourt Place in Happy Valley, and Mount Austin Mansion on the Peak.

In return, the PLA will receive most of the seven large urban military sites.

including the 130-hectare Fort Stanley, the British Army quarters in Queen's Lines, Admiralty, and the Prince of Wales Barracks in West Tamar.