Legislative Council Question 8 : "Retail links and open-air bazarrs with special characteristics" by the Hon Vincent Fang and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council
Following is a question by the Hon Vincent Fang and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (July 5):
In the past, because of the Government's redevelopment projects, many shops in retail links and open-air bazaars with special characteristics in Hong Kong, such as the "Cloth Alley" of Wing On Street, the "Bird Street" of Hong Lok Street and the "Wedding Card Street" of Lee Tung Street, dispersed upon their relocation or closed down, resulting in Hong Kong losing many of such retail links and bazaars. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the number of existing retail links and open-air bazaars with special characteristics in Hong Kong, their names and locations;
(b) whether it knows if the current redevelopment projects or town plans involve relocation or demolition of the above retail links and bazaars, including the "Sports Shoe Street" in the older district of Sai Yee Street and Fa Yuen Street at Mong Kok, and whether there are plans to retain such retail links and open-air bazaars with special characteristics; and
(c) how shops operating in such retail links and bazaars affected by redevelopment projects will be resettled?
My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:
(a) We understand that the Hong Kong Tourism Board publicizes among visitors various thematic retail links and open-air bazaars through its publications and websites, etc. Thematic retail links include Hollywood Road (Antiques Street), Des Voeux Road West (Dried Seafood Street), Ko Shing Street (Herbal Medicine Street), Bonham Strand West and Wing Lok Street (Ginseng and Bird's Nest Street), Canton Road (Jade Street), a section of Tung Choi Street between Prince Edward Road West and Mong Kok Road (Goldfish Market), Mong Kok Flower Market Road (Flower Market), a section of Tung Choi Street between Argyle Street and Dundas Street (Ladies' Market) and a section of Fa Yuen Street between Argyle Street and Soy Street (Sportswear Street), etc. Open-air bazaars include Stanley Bazaar, Tai Yuen Street Bazaar, Jardine's Crescent Bazaar, Apliu Street Bazaar, Bowring Street Bazaar, Temple Street Night Bazaar, a Bazaar in the section of Fa Yuen Street between Prince Edward West and Mong Kok Road and Bird Market in Yuen Po Street, etc.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board mainly selects thematic retail links for promotion where there is a high concentration of shops selling a particular type of goods. For open-air bazaars, there should be a certain number of shops or stalls operating in an open-air environment. Both the retail links and open-air bazaars should also be easily accessible by public transport. The views of the District Councils will also be taken into account in the selection process.
(b) The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) adopts a holistic "4R" urban renewal strategy, comprising redevelopment, rehabilitation, revitalisation and preservation of buildings of historical value within its urban renewal projects. Specifically, when considering the development modes for individual urban renewal projects, the URA will take into account the actual circumstances and widely consult the affected residents and relevant stakeholders, including gauging their views on the need and the way to preserve streets which are perceived by the public to be of special characteristics as well as existing vibrant economic activities. For example, the previous "Cloth Alley" at Jubilee Street/Queen's Road Central project in Central and the "Bird Market" at Argyle Street/Shanghai Street project in Mong Kok (now become "The Centre" and the "Langham Place" respectively) were relocated to the Western Market and Yuen Po Street Bird Garden respectively. The URA is also conducting community and building condition surveys for the Sai Yee Street project in Mong Kok with a view to working out a way forward for the project.
(c) In taking forward urban renewal projects, the URA will provide appropriate cash compensation to shop operators affected by redevelopment in accordance with the compensation policy formulated by its Board, including providing the market value of the premises and ex-gratia payments to cover possible losses arising from the relocation of their businesses. Shop operators may start their businesses again at locations of their choice with the cash compensation. The URA will handle individual cases flexibly taking into account specific circumstances of each case.
Ends/Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Issued at HKT 12:35