Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning and Lands, Mr John Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (October 17):
Upon completion, the residential properties Harbourfront Landmark, which is being developed by Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd on the waterfront in Hung Hom, The Summit and The Highcliff on Stubbs Road, which are being developed by other developers, will be much higher than buildings in their vicinity. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
(a) of the reasons for granting approvals for these developers to develop such residential properties which are much higher than buildings in their vicinity;
(b) whether the Administration has relaxed the building height restriction in the area in which Harbourfront Landmark is situated to allow its developer to construct buildings up to 72-storey high, and subsequently tightened the height restriction for that area so that no building of the same height can be constructed in the area in the future;
(c) whether the Administration, in vetting and approving the permitted heights of the above real estate developments, has considered the damage they will bring to the landscape upon their completion; and
(d) whether the Administration, in vetting and approving the permitted heights of real estate developments in the future, will give paramount consideration to the protection of landscape and require the proposed buildings to be constructed with heights similar to those in their vicinity?
(a)&(c) In vetting and approving an application for development, the Government's primary consideration is whether the development is in compliance with the law. Both the statutory Outline Zoning Plans and the land leases contain no restrictions on the heights of the developments on the sites of the aforesaid three real estate developments.
(b) Before the relocation of the ex-airport in Kai Tak, the developments in the entire Hung Hom area were subject to statutory Airport Height Restrictions for aviation safety reason. These restrictions have been relaxed as a result of airport relocation.
Except for the new Hung Hom Bay Reclamation, there has so far been no statutory planning restriction on the heights of residential buildings in the Hung Hom area, including the site of Harbourfront Landmark.
(d) The Planning Department is conducting a second round of public consultation on the recommendations of the study on 'Urban Design Guidelines for Hong Kong'. Members of the public have expressed different views on whether and how restrictions on the heights of developments should be imposed to preserve the urban landscape. The Government will carefully consider these views and formulate urban design guidelines.
End/Wednesday, October 17, 2001