Activists and residents opposing a plan by CLP Holdings to redevelop its historic headquarters in Mong Kok into residential blocks have vowed to continue their fight despite endorsement of the power supplier's proposal by a Town Planning Board sub-committee yesterday.
The opponents will turn to CLP in an effort to persuade it to scale back its residential project, which some nearby residents fear could overload roads with traffic and cause a 'wall effect' that could block air flow.
Green Sense, which supports the residents, said as many as 100 trees would have to be cut down to make way for the proposed project.
'We know that there is no way we can appeal to overturn the board's approval now,' a spokesman for the environmental group said. 'But it will not be the end of our fight. Our target now is CLP and we will try to persuade it to amend its plan.'
About 10 activists and residents living near the CLP headquarters in Argyle Street protested outside the North Point Government Offices yesterday morning, before members of the board's metro planning committee met to discuss the CLP plan.
'The traffic along Argyle Street and Waterloo Road is already very heavy,' said a residents' representative who lives in a block opposite CLP. 'The new residential project will not only attract more traffic but also create a wall effect. It will be no good for residents' health.'
At yesterday's committee meeting, planning officials acknowledged that many residents had raised the issues of traffic and air pollution with the department but told members that they were satisfied it should not be a big problem, after consulting various government departments.
'The height of the proposed blocks under the present revised plan is some 50 metres lower than that in the original proposal,' said Lam Sau-ha, senior town planner of the Planning Department.
Under CLP's plan, the 70-year-old headquarters is to be replaced by three residential blocks of up to 25 storeys, with about 175 flats. The clock tower is to be converted into two museums about social development and power supply.
Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor earlier expressed support for the revised plan.