Opponents of hotel project on Peak have valid objections

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 4:37am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 4:37am

I refer to Dr Lee Ho-yin's comments on the proposed hotel development at 27 Lugard Road on The Peak ("Take a Peak into the past…", July 10).

When disagreements arise in Hong Kong, often we will hear comments from so-called experts that protesters must be misguided or misinformed.

Such a statement immediately assumes that these people are ignorant and easily manipulated, or suggests they do not have a mind of their own.

I am a licensed architect with hotel design experience. I am very supportive of historic preservation, and one of the many who signed the petition against the proposed hotel.

I enjoy the trail at Lugard Road as much as fellow hikers. Am I misguided or misinformed because of that?

What the protesters are concerned about is not just to do with the value of historic preservation. There are issues including the use of golf carts which would affect the hiking trail (regardless of the frequency of use) and the impact of the septic tank on the environment.

Besides, who is it to say whether traffic would be negligible? Users of the trail will be subjective about traffic flow.

I disagree with Dr Lee, associate professor in architectural conservation at the University of Hong Kong, that those who have protested against the hotel plans are "completely wrong".

In a civilised society, we understand and embrace different opinions.

The key is how opposing voices can be heard, how differing interests can be balanced, and how compromises can be reached.

That is why we have a system of checks and balances, and why issues are debated and decisions taken on these issues.

Dennis Lee, Central