Kerry loses third bid to build yachting centre at Ap Lei Chau

Planning board rejects Kerry's application to rezone Ap Lei Chau shipyard site

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 February, 2014, 4:33am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 February, 2014, 5:17am

The Town Planning Board has rejected a proposal to develop a yachting centre at Ap Lei Chau after government departments said it was necessary to keep the existing shipyards.

The application was submitted by Kerry Property Management Services Limited, the third attempt to rezone the site since 2011.

The 23,835-square-metre government site lies east of Ap Lei Chau Praya Road. Kerry sought to change it from industrial to mixed development use.

It would have had a yachting centre and maritime museum to draw tourists. There also would have been shops and boatyards.

In its application, the company said the site should be redeveloped because the present use as a shipyard was unsightly and caused pollution.

This was incompatible with the nearby high-end residential estate Larvotto, which was jointly developed by Kerry Properties, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Paliburg Holdings.

Kerry Properties is controlled by the Kerry Group, controlling shareholder of this newspaper's publisher, SCMP Group.

The board's metro planning committee rejected the application yesterday.

It came after objections from government departments.

The Planning Department concluded that the existing shipyards should be retained to provide necessary repair and maintenance services to the local fishing fleet and pleasure vessels.

The Marine Department said the number of licensed small vessels had increased from 5,100 to 5,733 between 2009 and 2012, while the number of pleasure vessels had risen from 6,473 to 7,920.

Most were based in Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter and needed the repair services at the application site, the department said.