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Save the Police Station - Support the Proposal to Limit the Height

Heritage, arts, urban design and community NGOs have applied to the Town Planning Board to impose a 77mPD height limit on the Central Police Station complex. The height limit, if adopted by the Board, will put an end to plans for a large tower.

Send an email to the Town Planning Board BEFORE 27 February 2009

Town Planning Board
15th Floor, North Point Government Offices
333 Java Road
North Point, Hong Kong
Fax: 2877 0245
[email protected]

Protect the Central Police Station complex (Application Number: Y/H3/4)

We support the application Y/H3/4 calling for a sensitive conservation and revitalization of the Central Police Station Complex with the imposition of a statutory 77mPD height limit and retention of F Hall.

On behalf of (if applicable):

Background: Rethink urged for the Central Police Station

The NGOs call for the Central Police Station to be opened immediately for use by the public. Temporary uses such as the 2007 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture can help determine what works and does not work, and then guide the necessary renovations.

There is enough space for venues within the existing buildings of the Central Police Station to create the critical mass required for a successful arts and cultural complex. With new venues planned for West Kowloon and Wanchai there is little need for an iconic arts building hovering over the Central Police Station.

The NGOs want the future development of the Central Police Station complex to focus on a sympathetic conservation of heritage, rather than the introduction of inappropriate grand new buildings and uses. They support the 77mPD height identified in 2004 by the Antiquities Advisory Board and the Antiquities and Monuments Office as the appropriate height for any new buildings on the site.

Double Standards: Rules are for commercial developers, not the Jockey Club

In a press release issued on Saturday in an attempt to pre-empt the application by the NGOs, the Government explains that there are two heritage policies, one for them and one for everyone else. It states that the 77mPD height limit set by the Antiquities and Monuments Office in 2004 only applies to commercial developers, not the Jockey Club. The plan from the Hong Kong Jockey Club includes a tower which is well in excess of 150mPD. Click here to read the press release.

Independent Consultants paid for by the Jockey Club agree with the NGOs

A Conservation Management Plan prepared by internationally renowned architects makes it clear that a tall tower would be incompatible with good conservation principles. It calls for the “open character” of the courtyard and its relationship to adjacent buildings to be respected and it explains that existing buildings on the upper platform should be retained. Clearly, any proposal to build over the former prison courtyard and existing buildings is incompatible with these principles.

The Conservation Management Plan can be found on the website for the Central Police Station development (click here).

The tower does not make any financial sense

The additional cost of $1billion to construct a tower would increase the project cost to $1.8billion and can't be earned back. The conservation and adaptive re-use of the existing buildings can be achieved for $800million, significantly reducing the risk of the project while creating sufficient floor area to make the project viable.

Supporters of the height limit

Central and Western Concern Group
Community Alliance for Urban Planning
Community Cultural Concern
The Conservancy Association
Designing Hong Kong Limited
The Dragon Garden Charitable Trust
Green Sense
Heritage Hong Kong Foundation
Hong Kong International Association of Art Critics
Hong Kong People’s Council for Sustainable Development
SEE Network Limited
Soho Residents Committee
World City Committee
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