Concern over SoHo's redevelopment is mounting a month after a developer filed a third application regarding a site in Staunton Street. This time the application is for a boutique hotel - the same developer's two previous applications over the past three years were rejected. Sino Land applied to the Town Planning Board last month to turn its two five-storey residential tenement buildings at 20-26 Staunton Street - about 50 metres from the Mid-Levels escalator - into a 25-storey boutique hotel. The low-rise residential blocks are more than 40 years old. If permission is granted, construction of the 95-room, mid-tariff hotel with a restaurant would be completed in 2013. In its application to the board, Sino Land said the development would be compatible with the high-density area where there was a trend towards commercial development. It would create a substantial number of job opportunities and commercial business in the local community, and would not set any undesirable precedent for similar applications in the area, the company said. But Katty Law Ngar-ling, spokesman for the Central and Western Concern Group, objects strongly to the plan, saying it is not in keeping with the area, which has a quaint, low-rise, open-dining street appeal. 'It would set a bad precedent if this gets permission,' she said. 'Similar developments would sprout up and completely destroy this unique neighbourhood, which blends residential and entertainment.' Art gallery owner John Batten of the concern group also opposes the plan. He said the Central, SoHo and Mid-Levels areas were already highly built-up and suffer from chronic traffic problems. 'Pedestrians already often walk on the road. The hotel would only exacerbate the problem,' he said. 'If there were an emergency in those high-rise buildings, I don't believe emergency vehicles could adequately manage in those narrow streets.' Last year, in a paper on the second application's rejection, the board said the 33-storey hotel with 144 rooms that Sino Land was then proposing would be incompatible with the low-rise character of the Staunton Street neighbourhood. It also said approval would 'set an undesirable precedent' for similar hotel developments in the area, and the cumulative impact would damage the area's pleasant atmosphere. The department also cited traffic concerns, saying the site was too small for transport facilities for the hotel, and the carriageway and footpath at the front were too narrow. There was no waiting space and taxis, private cars, coaches or goods vehicles might have to wait on the street. In 2007, the board rejected Sino Land's proposal to build a 25-storey office block. The board is accepting comments on the development plan from the public until Friday.