THE Wan Chai police headquarters in Gloucester Road - one of the last remaining colonial-style buildings on Hong Kong Island - could be lost to redevelopment. The Government Property Agency (GPA) has endorsed a controversial land-swap proposal between the police and China Travel Service (Hong Kong) that would see the historic Wan Chai headquarters and ancillary buildings exchanged for a 28-storey station complex next door. Major developer Sun Hung Kai Properties has been acting as a consultant for CTS on the proposed redevelopment. CTS owns the neighbouring Hung On Building and Harbour Hotel which it hopes to swap for the Wanchai police sites. CTS and Sun Hung Kai have been holding secret negotiations with the police force to build a new station, complete with district and divisional headquarters, six floors of junior officer accommodation and car parking for 50 vehicles. In return, CTS wants the existing station block, the police quarters and vehicle compound at the rear for redevelopment. The total area of the police sites is 42,400 square feet. The GPA has valued the Wan Chai police properties at $1.5 billion. The Government is unwilling to approve the swap because it deviates from current land policy which puts redevelopment of redundant public buildings out to competitive public tender. Chief Superintendent Peter Halliday, planning and development branch commander, confirmed that 'an imaginative proposal' had been put forward. 'This is being looked at very seriously - not just by the police but also by the Government,' Mr Halliday said. 'We are always keen to examine ways that enhance and develop the force's property estate.' Half of the money gained from the Wan Chai police station disposal would be set aside for the future Special Administrative Region Government. The police force is trying to lobby for approval to bypass current regulations which dictate that the police have to apply for government funding. 'There is a lot of opposition to this,' said one police source. '[Government bodies] don't want involvement in anything that looks at swapping land with a single developer. 'One way around it might be to conduct an open tender but stipulate a condition that the bidders have to provide an alternative site in Wan Chai and promise to build a new police station - one that is both suitable and tactically located.' Police chiefs want to move, not only because the present station needs an overhaul, but because of an anticipated increase in work load due to the Central-Wan Chai reclamation. Under the deal put forward by Sun Hung Kai - which has already drafted a comprehensive architectural scheme - the new station would be an L-shape design on a 9,450 sq ft site. It would cost about $160 million to construct, with this price to be incurred by CTS. The 20-year-old Harbour Hotel was closed by CTS in May last year after it was deemed uneconomical to upgrade the building to meet new fire and safety regulations. The 5,000 sq ft site could provide up to 155,000 sq ft of office space. Last year the police 'swapped' two sites with the Government in return for development of junior officer accommodation. The sites - a 63,940 sq ft block in Aberdeen Street, Central, and a 117,563 sq ft block in Canton Road - were ceded to the Government in return for an official pledge to provide junior police quarters in Chai Wan and Choi Hung.