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Petition Letter to Ms. Carrie Lam/給林鄭月娥的請願信

15 February 2011

Hon. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet Ngor, GBS, JP,
Secretary for Development,
8th Floor,
West Wing,
Central Government Offices,
11 Ice House Street,
Central,
Hong Kong

Dear Mrs. Lam,

Petition regarding Commercial Development on Central Government Office (CGO) Site

(Government Hill

This petition is presented on behalf of the “Government Hill Concern Group” which comprises 20 organizations including the Central and Western Concern Group ,Heritage Hong Kong, the Conservancy Association (see full list below) and more than 40 individuals, such as professionals, ex-Government officials, scholars and other individuals concerned about the planning issues related to the CGO site.  

             The Group is specifically concerned about the proposal to demolish the existing West Wing of the CGO so that a site can be made available for commercial development, namely twenty-seven floors of office space and five floors of underground shopping mall.   The group believes that a development of this nature is grossly inappropriate for a heritage site with considerable public value both as regards Hong Kong’s history and as part of an area with much surrounding greenery and low rise historic buildings.   The Group considers that the public consultation so far conducted on this issue has been inadequate and that the Town Planning Board has not been given a full and fair picture of all relevant aspects.

            In furtherance of its belief that it will be totally against the wider interests of the Hong Kong community if this development is allowed to go ahead as currently planned, the Group has made a submission to the Town Planning Board (copy attached) setting out in full its reasons for finding the present proposals completely unsatisfactory and proposing as alternatives that the site should be re-zoned EITHER as Other Specified Uses, annotated Heritage Precinct OR as G/IC (1).

            On 15 February 2011 the Government Hill Concern Group will be publicly inaugurated and will begin a programme of activities to raise the community’s awareness of the present status of Government Hill as well as their understanding of what is proposed for the site.  We have every expectation that the public at large will find the Government’s plans for commercial development unacceptable.  A recent survey of more than a thousand members of the public found that 73% of those surveyed supported the retention of Government Hill for public use while 61% were of the view that preserving the heritage value of the site is of paramount importance.

         We urge the Development Bureau to pay heed to this significant issue and urgently re-consider present proposals for commercial development of the site and enter into discussions with ourselves and any other interested parties on the best means of formulating development proposals which will be compatible with the existing status of the site and the public’s aspirations for its future use for the benefit of the Hong Kong community as a whole.  We strongly believe that to do otherwise will lead to considerable public dissatisfaction and opposition, something which, we are sure, you will prefer to avoid.
 Member Group List of the “Government Hill Concern Group”  

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

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