Public split over CLP redevelopment
The Town Planning Board has received a divided public response over a redevelopment that would see CLP Power knock down part of its historic headquarters in Argyle Street.
Of the 249 submissions made to the board, which was scheduled to meet today to discuss the redevelopment scheme, 129 were objections from four green groups and individuals. Ninety-one comments supported the plan.
The board is to meet less than a month after Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she supported CLP's plan to demolish the art deco headquarters, a graded historical building.
Residents and green groups staged a protest last week outside CLP headquarters against the redevelopment. The building, built in 1940, is to be replaced by three 25-storey blocks above a five-storey car park. Only the clock tower would be kept, and it would be converted into two museums about social development and electricity supply.
Opponents' submissions said the demolition of the western portion of the complex would destroy the integrity of the clock tower. The proposed 25-storey residential towers would be incompatible with the historic building and the low-rise landscape of the Kadoorie Hill behind it, they say.
Supporters of the plan say the museums, which will be financed by CLP Power, would provide good opportunities to learn about the city's history. The minister has been accused of trying to influence the board's decision by explicitly supporting the redevelopment.
The Planning Department said it had no objections to the redevelopment, in a paper summarising its assessments for the board's consideration. But a chief town planner from the department noted that the proposed three blocks together would create an unbroken wall more than 80 metres long, which would not be good visual design. The planner suggested revising the plan to add more gaps between buildings.