LCQ9: Conservation of heritage sites in Northern Metropolis

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuet-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, in the Legislative Council today (November 23):
 
Question:
 
Regarding the conservation of heritage sites in the Northern Metropolis, will the Government inform this Council:
 
(1) whether it has reviewed what sites or areas in the Northern Metropolis are of potential archaeological interest; if so, of the details of the sites or areas concerned; and
 
(2) regarding works to be carried out at various heritage sites (including (i) declared monuments and proposed monuments, (ii) historic buildings and sites graded by the Antiquities Advisory Board, (iii) recorded sites of archaeological interest and (iv) government historic sites identified by the Antiquities and Monuments Office) and in the vicinity of such sites, whether the authorities have laid down any requirements and restrictions which need to be observed by works departments and the private owners concerned; if so, of the details?
 
Reply:
 
President,
 
My reply to the Hon Chan Yuet-ming's question is as follows:

(1) The Northern Metropolis generally covers two district administration areas, including Yuen Long District and North District. According to the records of the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO), Yuen Long District and North District have respectively 26 and 22 Sites of Archaeological Interest (SAIs) as follows:
 
Yuen Long District
(i) Fu Tei Au
(ii) Ha Pak Nai
(iii) Hang Hau Tsuen
(iv) Ho Pui
(v) Ho Pui Trackway
(vi) Lau Fau Shan
(vii) Lin Fa Tei
(viii) Long Jok Tsuen
(ix) Mai Po
(x) Mong Tseng
(xi) Ngau Hom Sha
(xii) Ngau Hom Shek
(xiii) Ngau Tam Mei
(xiv) Pat Heung Sheung Tsuen
(xv) Sha Kong Miu (North)
(xvi) Sha Kong Miu (South)
(xvii) Sheung Cheung Wai
(xviii) Sheung Pak Nai
(xix) Shui Lau Tin
(xx) Tai Lam Chung – Shap Pat Heung Trackway
(xxi) Tai Kong Po
(xxii) Tsat Sing Kong
(xxiii) Tseung Kong Wai
(xxiv) Tung Tau Tsuen
(xxv) Yuen Leng
(xxvi) Yuen Shan 

North District
(i) Pak Fu Shan
(ii) Hung Leng
(iii) Kat O Island (North)
(iv) Kat O Island (South)
(v) Kat O Pak Sha Tau
(vi) Kat O Sheung Wai
(vii) Kuk Po
(viii) Lai Chi Wo
(ix) Lau Shui Heung – Kat Tsai Shan Au Trackway
(x) Luk Keng – Tsat Muk Kiu Boulder Trackway
(xi) Luk Keng
(xii) Muk Wu Nga Yiu Kilns
(xiii) Ping Che
(xiv) Po Leng
(xv) Pok Tau Ha Old Lime Kiln
(xvi) Queen's Hill
(xvii) Sha Tau Kok Old Stone Lime Kilns
(xviii) Sha Tau Kok San Tsuen
(xix) Sha Tau Kok Shek Kiu Tau
(xx) Sheung Shui Wa Shan
(xxi) Tong To Shan
(xxii) Wong Wan Chau (Double Island)

‚ÄčThe list of SAIs has been uploaded onto the Geographical Information System on Hong Kong Heritage (gish.amo.gov.hk/internet/default.html?lang=en-us) of the AMO. The public can also view the boundary of each SAI at the reference library of Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre by appointment.
 
(2) Declared monuments are accorded statutory protection under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap. 53).  Excavation on the monuments, and any action to demolish, remove, obstruct, deface or interfere with the monuments are prohibited unless a permit is granted by the Authority (i.e. Secretary for Development).
 
Besides, a Development Bureau Technical Circular (Works) was issued in 2008, requiring all works departments of new capital works projects to submit a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) checklist to the AMO in the technical feasibility study stage and before commencement of works. The AMO will provide comments on the initial assessment including whether there are any heritage sites (i.e. declared monuments, proposed monuments, sites or buildings which are graded, awaiting confirmation of grading as well as those to be graded and the SAIs) within the project sites, and whether the projects will adversely affect heritage sites.  The AMO will then determine whether the works department is required to carry out the HIA, formulate mitigation measures, and submit the HIA report to the AMO and the Antiquities Advisory Board for endorsement. The technical circular was updated in April 2022 to set out more clearly information requirements for the HIA checklist for determining the necessity of submitting an HIA report.
 
In addition, if the development projects are classified as Designated Project under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499), project proponents (whether for private projects or public works projects) are required to conduct a Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment (CHIA).  The CHIA comprises two parts: Built Heritage Impact Assessment and Archaeological Impact Assessment.  Project proponents are required to prepare an impact assessment report to identify direct and indirect impacts to known or potential cultural heritage resources.  If impact on cultural heritage resources is identified, the AMO will require the project proponents to formulate a Conservation Management Plan and suitable mitigation measures to minimise impacts on the cultural heritage resources.
 
Ends/Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:00

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