A Legislative Council panel yesterday passed a motion urging the government to halt the tendering of the Central Police Station compound amid rising concerns about protection of the historic site. Lawmakers on the home affairs panel said the tendering process should be halted until the government reached a decision on how to preserve heritage buildings. Many panel members are against demolishing buildings in the compound. Seventeen of the 27 buildings - on the site of the Central Police Station, Victoria Prison and the former Central Magistracy - are on the preservation list. The Antiquities Advisory Board has said a building at the entrance of the Victoria Prison does not match the architectural style of the surrounding area. Most of the nine conservation and architectural groups, as well as Central and Western District councillors, invited to the panel also called for greater public participation in assessing tenders and monitoring developments. Assistant commissioner for tourism Patricia So Pui-sai said no concrete timetable was set on the tendering. 'We have all along listened to the opinions of society and will carefully consider the tendering arrangements. The Antiquities Advisory Board has played an active role in every process,' Ms So said. The motion, moved by independent Albert Chan Wai-yip, was passed by five members, with two abstentions. It was ahead of a motion to be moved in Legco today by Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong lawmaker Choy So-yuk calling for the site's conservation and a comprehensive policy on the city's heritage. 'The government should have a clear policy after finishing the consultation before considering how to handle its development,' Democratic Party vice-chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said. A three-month consultation began in February to gauge public views on the preservation of heritage buildings. A second-stage consultation is to start early next year. Ronald Lu, Hong Kong chapter president of the American Institute of Architects, said he was concerned with the city's disappearing heritage and urged the government to show its concern. Conservation activist Kam Nai-wai said the site should be run on a non-profit basis to allow access to the public.