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Government highly concerned about the condition of Hung Lau

In response to media enquiries on the preservation of Hung Lau, Tuen Mun, New Territories in the past few days, a spokesman for the Development Bureau reiterated today (February 21) that the Government is highly concerned about the works carried out near Hung Lau recently.  The Antiquities Advisory Board accorded Grade 1 status to Hung Lau in 2009.  Grade 1 historic buildings are "buildings of outstanding merits, which every effort should be made to preserve if possible".
 
Under the Buildings Ordinance, prior approval by the Building Authority is required for demolition and alteration works (including demolishing and altering Hung Lau).  Moreover, consent from the Building Authority should be obtained before the commencement of works.
 
The spokesman said, "From our record, the Buildings Department has not received any demolition plan for Hung Lau or application to commence demolition."
 
Representatives of the Buildings Department visited Hung Lau every day since February 18 to monitor its condition.  They gained access to inspect the interior of the building.  There was no ongoing alternation or demolition works.  The Buildings Department will continue to closely monitor the situation.
 
"We reaffirm that the works near Hung Lau have not affected its main building, which was accorded Grade 1 status.  We have already contacted the owner’s representative, and suggest exploring preservation proposals with the owner.  The Government will follow up proactively," the spokesman added.
 
Since 2008, the Government has been proactively reviewing whether individual buildings (such as some Grade 1 historic buildings) have reached the "high threshold" of monuments and should be declared as "monuments" under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.  If a particular Grade 1 historic building is, say under demolition threat, or there are proposals to undergo alteration works that may affect the heritage value of the building, thus requiring immediate statutory protection, the Government will consider declaring relevant historic building as "proposed monument" in accordance with the aforementioned Ordinance, with a view to facilitating the Government to discuss preservation proposals with the owner.

Ends/Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 10:30

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