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政府山關注組在行政長官2011年”施政報告“/Submission by the GHCG to the 2011-12 Policy Address

October 7, 2011

[Scrool down for the English Version]
2011年9月30日
致:香港特區政府行政長官曾蔭權先生
政府山關注組在行政長官2011年”施政報告“
就保育政府山和中區政府合署 的 意見書
曾蔭權先生:
政府山關注組是由香港20個本地環境和文物保育團體所組成的聯盟(名單見信末),我們關注政府山在政府總部即將遷往添馬艦後的保育問題,特別是當局有意出售該地段的一大部份土地作商業用途的決定,所帶來嚴重的影响。
我們認為,由發展局於2010年9月提出的重建計劃,是+分短視及建基於對政府山文化价值的扭曲評估,亦違反了政府所許下保育政府山的承諾。政府山作為自一八四一年香港開埠以來最早發展的核心區,是目前本港最重要的歷史文化地帶之一。政府山的重建,涉及出售中區政府合署西座及周邊土地作高密度商業發展,將徹底破壞政府山的完整性。
中區政府合署與香港政府在過去170年的緊密關係,突顯了該地段歷史意義。作為英國殖民政府和特區政府的主要辦事處,中區政府合署自1841年以來,一直是作出影響全港重要決策的所在地。這是一個屬於公民的標誌性空間,代表香港作為一個現代化城市的起源。對於很多香港人來說,政府山的重要性在於該地段長期以來都是公眾集中向政府表達其意見的地方:不論是六+年代面對殖民地政府,或是回歸以來,市民通過公眾遊行示威,大多選擇中區政府合署為目的地。故此,中區政府合署是具有其重大社會意義,是香港人體現公民核心價值、公民權利及身份認同,一個和我城「性格」息息相關的地方。
對於周邊已高度發展的社區而言,政府山是一個極之寶貴的市肺。中環的商業中心區發展密度已過高,引致嚴重空氣污染和交通擠塞。因此,維護中區政府合署的公共業權及公共用途、施加嚴謹的發展限制,對保育政府山整體的歷史氛圍,和保持可持續發展的城市環境,至關重要。
根據發展局委托顧問撰寫的中區政府合署建築評估,西座的建築物本身,有其實用性的優點,其結構相當穩固和保養良好,是可以維持繼續使用多年的。為了實踐環保原則,當局應保留中區政府合署西座翻新再用,避免不必要的拆卸。同樣重要的是,政府應與市民協作,探討中區政府合署西座的新公共用途。
在兩年前的施政報告中,你公佈了保育前荷李活道已婚警察宿舍的計劃。這項決定,既保存了該地段的低密度原貌及中央書院的遺跡,亦有助保持蘇豪和中區警署建築群一帶的歷史氛圍。要進一步優化這中環歷史城區,中區政府合署的保育至為重要。我們相信,以中區政府合署為核心,可以延展成一個擴大的文物保育/公園地帶,透過改善行人路、加設單車徑和社區設施,連結附近的香港公園、聖公會建築群、動植物公園、天主教總堂,和即將進行改裝工程的中區警署建築群等。 我們認為,這將是你作香港特別行政區的行政長官,留給香港人最美好的文化遺產。保育政府山對社會的價值,遠遠大於出售政府山給單一私人發展商所得到的有限收益。
作為一個極具象徵意義的地段,政府山必須妥善保育,絕不能割售。政府當局應明白,香港市民普遍對地產霸權作出嚴正的控訴。如果政府山成為“地產山”,這將是可悲和不可接受的。現時,香港政府絕無財政壓力,也可以在其他地區如中環、灣仔、魚涌、西九龍、觀塘和啟德找到興建甲級寫字樓的空間,因此政府實在沒有足夠理據將政府山這樣一個重要的公共資產/歷史地段“賣”給一個地產商。
市民支持保育中區政府合署的地段作公眾用途的訴求,是+分清晰的。最近政府山關注組向城市規劃委員會申請要求訂定政府山作為文物保護區的規劃申請(Y/H4/6)收到公眾的廣泛支持,超過6000人在此規劃申請表達支持意見。此外,聯合國教科文組織大學和文化遺產論壇已就政府山保育問題提出國際關注,並已發出了一個面向全球的公眾呼籲(見附件),呼籲國際社會關注政府山正面對被破壞的威脅。
政府山關注組要求特區政府撤銷其出售政府山的計劃,切實為香港市民保育中區政府合署及政府山,並履行其向立法會尋求興建添馬艦新總部撥款所作出的承諾,在探討中區政府合署的未來用途時,進行廣泛的公眾諮詢。
因此,政府山關注組要求閣下在即將發表的施政報告中,加入下列內容:
1. 尊重政府山的文物價值和完整性,將之劃為特別保護區,保留公共業權
2. 確認中區政府合署是政府山不可或缺的重要組成部分,避免不適當的重建及更改用途
3. 中區政府合署及政府山範圍應納入在一個更廣闊的文物保育/公園地帶,以行人路、單車徑連結,並在中區政府合署西座設社區設施
4. 撤銷出售中區政府合署西座的計劃,並保持整個中區政府合署範圍作永久公共用途
5. 在考慮中區政府合署西座新的公共用途時,應有充份的公眾參與
6. 保護政府山茂密的綠色地帶,以及該地段的低密度環境
我們很樂意與你或你的官員見面,討論我們的政策建議 。

政府山關注組召集人
羅雅寧 謹啟

政府山關注組由下列環境和文物保育團體組成:
中西區關注組、公共專業聯盟、創建香港、環保觸覺、綠領行動、長春社、文化傳承監察、關注城市規劃社區大聯盟、社區發展動力培育、拯救海岸、龍虎山環境關注組、HK 重建關注、 香港文化遺產基金會、爭氣行動、南土瓜灣關注組、保護海港協會、綠色健康環境團體、Mini Spotters、Soho Residents Committee、World City Committee

政府山關注組
郵遞地址:上環郵政信箱33711號
PO Box 33711
Sheung Wan
Hong Kong

網址:www.governmenthill.org

c c.
行政會議、立法會、古物諮詢委員會、城市規劃委員會全体成員

30 September 2011

To: Mr Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government

Submission by
the Government Hill Concern Group for the CE Policy Address 2011
on the Conservation of Central Government Offices, Government Hill, Hong Kong

Dear Sir,

The Government Hill Concern Group is an alliance of 20 local environmental and heritage conservation groups (listed below) concerned with the protection of heritage properties and particularly with maintaining the significance of Government Hill. The imminent relocation of government headquarters to Tamar and the current policy decision to use a large section of the site for commercial usage is a matter of general public concern.

We believe that the redevelopment scheme proposed by the Development Bureau in September 2010 is short-sighted and based on a distorted assessment of the heritage site. It ignores the obligation to preserve Government Hill, the historic core of Hong Kong since 1841, and one of the city’s most significant heritage precincts. The redevelopment scheme involving the sale of a large area of Government Hill, including the CGO West Wing, to a property developer and excavation of the site for a commercial high-rise development will completely destroy the integrity of this heritage site.

The CGO area, and its continuous association with the Hong Kong Government over the last 170 years, underpins the historic significance of the site. As the main offices for both the British colonial government and the HKSAR government, the CGO has been the seat of community decision-making since 1841. It is a civic landmark representing the origins of Hong Kong as a modern city and, equally important for many Hong Kong people, a site where the public has legitimately voiced its opinion towards the Administration through public demonstrations: recently, and in the 1960s towards the colonial government. The CGO site is socially significant as it is where Hong Kong people articulate their core values that are closely related to our identity and the character of the city.

Government Hill is a valuable green lung for Central and the higher reaches of Mid-levels through to The Peak. The surrounding Central Business District is already overdeveloped with high levels of air pollution and traffic congestion. Maintaining public ownership and public use of the CGO and restricting development intensity is an important factor in conserving the ambience of historic Government Hill as a whole and in maintaining a sustainable urban environment.

According to the Development Bureau-commissioned architectural assessment of the CGO site, the CGO West Wing building has considerable architectural merits in its own right and is structurally sound and well maintained and can be used for many years. In line with best environmental-friendly practice, the West Wing building should be kept and enhanced. Furthermore, it is important that the government work with members of the public to explore meaningful new uses for the West Wing.

In a previous policy address, you announced the preservation of the Former Married Police Quarters. This far-sighted policy decision has allowed the preservation of a low-rise site in keeping with the heritage ambience of SOHO and the nearby Central Police Station Complex. A further rejuvenation of the area has now transpired and we believe that the CGO site can be transformed into an enlarged heritage/park area with improved footpaths, bicycle tracks and community facilities, especially in a preserved CGO West Wing, to compliment and link nearby Hong Kong Park, the Anglican Church’s heritage buildings, the Botanical Gardens, the Catholic Cathedral and the soon-to-be renovated Central Police Station Complex – further afield links can be made with Bowen Road, the University of Hong Kong and The Peak etc.. We believe this would be a wonderful legacy and at the same time be both economically and environmentally beneficial for the entire community. We strongly believe that this would far outweigh the limited and one-off gains of developing a commercial high-rise building through selling off an existing park area (Battery Path and environs) to a single private property developer.

As a highly symbolic site, Government Hill deserves conservation and must be handled with great care. As your Administration knows, perceived and real developer hegemony is a serious public issue in this city and it would be unacceptable for Government Hill to become known as “Developer Hill”. While the Hong Kong Treasury is not experiencing any financial pressure, and the need for Grade A office space can be satisfied by other options in Central, Wan Chai, Quarry Bay, West Kowloon, Kwun Tong and Kai Tak, there are no justifiable circumstances that allow such an important public asset/heritage site as Government Hill to be “sold out” to a property developer.

There is a clear indication that public aspirations support the conservation of the CGO site for public use. The Government Hill Concern Group’s recent application (Y/H4/6) to the Town Planning Board for the conservation of CGO as a heritage precinct has received wide public support with over 6,000 people sending comments in support of this application. Furthermore, a public petition is currently available and international concern has been raised through Forum UNESCO University and Heritage sending a worldwide public message (see attached) calling for international attention to the threat by destruction of Government Hill.

The Government Hill Concern Group requests that the Government rescinds its current sale-and-redevelopment proposal and adopts a long-term vision for the conservation of the CGO and Government Hill for the people of Hong Kong. We also call on the Administration to fulfill its promise to the Legislative Council, when originally seeking funding for the new headquarters at Tamar, to engage in extensive public consultation on the future of Government Hill.

The Government Hill Concern Group therefore requests you and your officials to include in your forthcoming Policy Address a positive reappraisal of Government Hill and for you to include the following:

1. Respect the heritage and integrity of Government Hill and to conserve it as a special protected area under public ownership
2. Recognize that the CGO is an integral and significant part of Government Hill and should be protected from insensitive, inappropriate use and redevelopment
3. Integrate the CGO and Government Hill into a wider heritage/park area with footpaths, bicycle tracks and community facilities in the CGO West Wing
4. Rescind the sale-and-redevelopment proposal for the CGO West Wing and maintain permanent public use for the entire CGO
5. Engage the public in identifying new public uses for CGO West Wing
6. Protect the extensive green lung of Government Hill as well as the low-rise ambience of the area

We are happy to meet you or your officials to discuss our policy suggestions.

Yours faithfully,

Katty Law
Convener of the Government Hill Concern Group

The Government Hill Concern Group is an alliance of the following environmental and heritage conservation groups:

Central and Western Concern Group, The Professional Commons, Designing Hong Kong, Green Sense, Greeners Action, The Conservancy Association, Heritage Watch, Community Alliance for Urban Planning, Community Development Initiative, Save Our Shorelines, Lung Fu Shan Environment Concern Group, HK Redevelopment Concern Group, Heritage Hong Kong, Clear the Air, Green Environmental Health Group, South Tokwawan Concern Group, Society for Protection of the Harbour, Soho Residents Committee, Mini Spotters, World City Committee

Postal Address:
PO Box 33711
Sheung Wan
Hong Kong

Website:
http://www.governmenthill.org

cc.

Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Legislative Council
Members of the Antiquity Advisory Board
Members of the Town Planning Board

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