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立場書/Position Paper

新聞稿
2010年10月25日發出

不要地產山-人民規劃政府山

政府山是目前的政府總部所在地,香港是其中一個最重要的文化遺產。上月,政府提出拆卸中區政府合署西座,將一大片地盤出售給地產商,並重建成為一個辦公室和商業大樓。經過深入研究,有充分證據表示,政府在其提出的建議中,作出至少三項失實誤導的聲稱:

聲稱1:該歷史原址應出售給地產商作商業發展

在政府委託和賽爾米勒特里頓 (Purcell Miller Tritton) 所進行的 “歷史和建築評估”報告(’報告’)中明確指出,“該地段本身比其所在建築物,可以說是更為重要的”。“自香港作為一個獨立的殖民地開始,這地段便一直是政府的所在地”,因在其大範圍之下,有許多具歷史價值的土地,該片土地的潛在意義相應增加。如集合在一起,這些土地,對理解香港歷史的發展,提供了非常有趣的機會。”(”報告”中第135頁)難以想像,對於一個儲備超過港幣$20,000億元的特區政府而言,並在無任何財政壓力之下,建議出售這樣重要的一大片土地,無論可從中獲取多少收益,是絕不可取的。

聲稱2:中區政府合署西座可以拆卸,因為它只有很低或沒有建築價值

在報告中,沒有建議對政府山的土地地段中的任何部份,作出任何重建建議。事實上,報告指出,“政府總部的整體環境意義重大,因為它是因比鄰香港幾座最重要的歷史建築,和一些最具代表性的現代建築”(第108頁)和“該等建築物的建築質量之高,是在其建築時所剛剛開始的現代辦公室設計的典範,和香港和1950年代的建築物的代表作“(第135頁)和 “毫無疑問,這些建築物可以現時的型態,作另一用途“(128頁)。此外,政府純粹以建築價值作為衡量標準,明顯忽略了該土地地段的歷史,和其所在的建築物的文化和社會價值。

聲稱3:重建中區政府合署西座為商業大樓 將不會影響該土地地段的完整性

仔細地看政府所提出的重建,包括計劃發現,不僅政府打算在該處興建一座約40層的辦公室(包括政府所聲稱一些被辦公大樓遮蓋的綠化地帶),但近一半的政府山將會被挖空,以騰出空間作為多層地下購物商場和停車場。在該計劃中所出現的“綠色山丘”將會只是一個類似於現時1881 (前尖沙咀山) 的一個 “在建築物之上的一個園藝花園平台”罷了。換句話說,在政府所提出的發展完成後,政府山將不復存在。

我們相信,在該建議被進一步考慮之前,政府要有責任回答以下的問題,並提供滿意的答案:

規劃問題:

1. 難道政府不考慮中環與商業的發展已經飽和的因素,而正確的規劃策略,應該是分散發展,並將額外的和發展額外的辦公空間搬離中環?難道政府不認為沒有需要在中環提供任何進一步的零售發展空間?難道政府沒有考慮,在中環進行任何進一步的辦公和商業的發展,是不符合其早前聲稱要發展西九龍成為另一個商業中心?

2. 預計拆卸西翼將產生的建築廢物,總共有多少公噸?該等建築廢物會送往哪一個堆填區?在挖空政府山後,預計將產生多少公噸的物料,和那些被挖空的物料,將會被送往哪一個堆填區?

3. 目前政府租用中西區有多少辦公室空間,在新中區政府合署/立法會大樓在落成啟用後,有多少現時政府在中西區所租用的寫字樓空間,政府仍然繼續需要租用?

運輸問題:

4. 在建議中,有什麼道路擴寬計劃?如果是這樣,建議的路線和有關道路層次是在那裡?是否會由公帑支付上述擴闊道路措施?該等道路擴闊計劃,是否會涉及破壞現時已存在的綠化地帶,會不會涉及到切割植被斜坡?

5. 在該計劃中,在已經擁擠的德輔道中和花園路的交通和環境影響評估是怎樣?無論是在施工時,要搬離挖出來的物料所帶來的影響,和在該計劃中的辦公室和商業樓宇落成後,所帶來之額外交通流量?

文化遺產問題:

6. 擬議計劃是否完全符合《布拉憲章》 (Burra Charter) 和《中國文物古蹟保護準則》,特別是當中禁止在文化遺址發展的條文?

7. 中區政府合署西座建在有極具歷史性的美利炮台上面。該處具考古價值的文物的可能性有多少? 有沒有已完成的考古調查?

8. 在政府山下,有一套精密的地下隧道網絡。請問挖空後的山,是否會對這些隧道及其相關的具歷史價值的結構,帶來不可挽回的損害或永久性的喪失?

社區問題:

9. 把該地的規劃用途,從政府、團體及社區用途,改變至商業用途,又怎能保障公眾對社區之權利和保護公共空間?

10. 政府是否考慮,如果該土地,包括中區政府合署西座,是開放作社區用途,而不是被出售給地產商,會令廣大市民,都能享有在規劃上有更大的益處?

我們認為,政府有公共責任,維護整個政府山作為公共財富,嚴格保護該地段的完整性。一個歷史文物的地段不應用作商業發展,因為這會貶低政府山的歷史價值。如果政府山成為一個“地產山”,將會是香港人的重大損失。為香港市民和我們的下一代了解我們的城市歷史,該地段應該要小心保育,並讓市民享用公共空間和建築物。

鑑於上述情況,我們要求政府立即採取以下步驟:

1. 進行了一系列的開放日,讓廣大市民了解和欣賞政府山和其建築群;

2.進行一次廣泛的公眾參與活動,包括公開聽證會和研討會,以便諮詢市民有關政府山最合適的公眾用途;

3. 特區政府應委託獨立專家,在政府山現場進行考古挖掘,並公佈其調查結果;

4. 延長公眾諮詢期至12個月,以配合考古挖掘調查和公眾參與活動。

聯署團體:

公民黨
中西區關注組
Save Our Shorelines
創建香港

 

 

Say No to “Developer Hill”

Government Hill for the People

 

Government Hill, where the current Central Government Offices are, is one of the most important heritage sites for Hong Kong. The government has proposed last month to demolish the CGO West Wing, sell a large chunk of the site to developers, and redevelop it into an office and commercial complex. After thorough studies, there is ample evidence that the government has made at least three misleading claims in its proposal:

Claim 1: The site should be sold off to developers for commercial development

In the “Historic and Architectural Appraisal” report (the ‘Report’) commissioned by Government and conducted by Purcell Miller Tritton, it is made clear that “the site itself is arguably of higher significance than the buildings. This has been the seat of Government since the foundation of Hong Kong as an independent colony” and “the potential significance of the site is further enhanced by the historic sites in the wider area. These sites, taken in conjunction, offer very interesting opportunities for the interpretation of the history of the development of Hong Kong.”(p.135) It is unthinkable that for a SAR Government that has a reserve of over HK$2000 billion and is under no financial pressure whatsoever, a proposal would be made to sell off a large chunk of such an important site for just a few billion dollars.

Claim 2: CGO West Wing can be demolished because it is of little or no architectural value

In the Report, no recommendation has been made to redevelop any part of the site. In fact the report pointed out that “the CGO’s physical setting is significant as it is located near to several of Hong Kong’s most important historic buildings and also some of its most iconic modern buildings” (p.108) and “the buildings are of a high architectural quality and are exemplars of the beginning of modern office design in Hong Kong and of 1950s architecture generally”(p.135) and “there is little doubt that it is feasible to reuse the existing buildings”(p.128). Furthermore, the government’s emphasis purely on architectural value has clearly ignored the historic, cultural and community value of the site and the buildings.

Claim 3: The redevelopment of CGO West Wing into a commercial complex will not affect the integrity of the site

From a careful examination of the government’s proposed plan, it is discovered that not only an office block (with some covered area claimed as green space by the government) of over 40 storey’s high will be developed, but that about half of the hill will be hollowed out to make way for a multi-storey underground shopping complex and car park. The green hill which appeared on the plan will effectively be a landscaped terrace similar to what can be found now on Heritage 1881 after the hollowing out of the former Tsimshatsui hill. In other words, Government Hill will no longer exist after the proposed development.

We believe that the government has a duty to provide satisfactory answers to the following queries before the proposal should be considered any further:

Planning Issues:

1.         Does Government not consider Central is saturated with commercial development and that the correct planning strategy should now be to de-centralise and move development of additional office space out of Central?  Does Government not consider that there is no overriding public need for any further retail developments in Central? Does Government not consider that any further office and commercial development in Central is inconsistent with its claim to develop West Kowloon into another Central Business District?

  1. What is the total tonnage of construction waste which is expected to be generated by the demolition of the West Wing and to which landfill will it be taken?  What is the total tonnage of excavated material which is expected to be generated by the hollowing out of Government Hill and to which landfill will it be taken?
  2. How much office space is the Government currently renting in Central and Western District, and how much office space will still be needed after all space in the new CGO/LegCo complex is allocated ?

 

Transport Issues:

3.         What road widening is involved in the proposal?  If so, where and what are the proposed alignments and levels of the roads concerned?  Will such road widening be paid for out of the public purse?  Will such road widening involve destruction of greenery which currently exists and will it involve cutting into vegetated slopes?

4.        What is the traffic and environmental impact on the already congested Des Vouex Road Central and Garden Road, both during construction when the excavated materials have to be moved out, and during operation when more traffic is generated from the office and commercial complex?

Heritage Issues:

5.         Does the proposed plan fully comply with the Burra Charter and the China Principles for the Conservation of Heritage Sites, in which there is a presumption against development for heritage sites?

6.         The CGO West Wing was built on top of the historic Murray Battery. What is the likelihood of archaeological relics under the site area? Has any archaeological survey been done?

7.         There is an elaborate network of tunnels under Government Hill. Will the hollowing out of the hill bring about irreparable damage or permanent loss to these tunnels and the related historic structures?

Community Issues:

8.        By rezoning the site from GIC to Commercial, how can the public’s right for community and open space be protected?

9.        Does the Government consider that there will be a bigger planning gain for the public if the site, including CGO West Wing, is opened up for community use rather than be sold to developers?

We strongly believe that Government has the public obligation to preserve the entire Government Hill as a public asset, and the integrity of the site must be strictly protected. Commercial development on this heritage site should not be allowed as it will demean the historic value of Government Hill. It will be very sad if the Government Hill is to become a “Developer Hill”. The site should be preserved for Hong Kong people and our future generations to understand the history of our city, and the open space and the buildings therein should be maintained for public use.

On this basis, we request the government to take the following steps promptly:

1.        Conduct a series of open days so as to allow the general public to understand and appreciate the site and the buildings;

2.         Conduct a broadbased pubic engagement exercises including public hearings and workshops, to consult the community on how best the site should be utilized by the public;

3.         Commission an archaeological dig at the site by an independent team and publish its findings;

4.        Extend the public consultation period to 12 months to coincide with the archaeological survey and the engagement exercise.

Joint signatories:

Civic Party

Central and Western Concern Group

Save Our Shorelines

Designing Hong Kong

25 October 2010

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