Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning and Lands, Mr John C Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (April 17):
It has been reported that when the Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited planned to demolish Hilton Hotel for the construction of a commercial building (now the Cheung Kong Center ("the Center")), the company was granted the right to develop the government lot adjacent to the development site (i.e. where the Beaconsfield House and a public car park were then located) through private negotiations with the Government. At the end of last year, advertisement signs of the company were displayed on the public footbridge adjacent to the Center. At the same time, areas originally planned as public sitting-out areas within the boundary of the Center were being used for illegal parking, which might cause inconvenience to the public and pose risks to pedestrians. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the details related to the public areas, sitting-out areas and car parks in the overall development plan of the Center, including their exact locations, sizes and dates of completion;
(b) of the locations of pedestrian walk ways in the development plan and their management rights; and
(c) whether any mechanism is in place to regulate the above-mentioned display of advertisement signs and parking; if so, of the details?
(a) In accordance with the lease conditions, the lot owner of the Cheung Kong Center (the Center) has to complete construction of the following facilities by 3 November 2002:
(i) a public open space of not less than 5,200 square metres; and
(ii) a public car park with 800 parking spaces. Before the completion of the car park, the lot owner has to provide 500 temporary parking spaces for public use within the lot.
A plan showing the overall development of the lot is at Annex. The area marked green (some 5,444 square metres) is public open space comprising the public plaza at ground level facing Queen's Road Central and the landscaped garden above the ground adjacent to Battery Path. The existing 500 temporary parking spaces in use are located below the landscaped garden, as will be the future 800 public parking spaces.
(b) The public can have free access to all the open space within the lot. The whole area within the lot, including the public open space and the public car park, is managed by the lot owner.
(c) The use of the lot must comply with the lease conditions. Non-compliance with the lease conditions can lead to lease enforcement action by Government. The footbridge adjacent to the Center was constructed in accordance with the lease conditions. Part of the footbridge is located on Government land. According to the lease conditions, the lot owner should upkeep and maintain the footbridge, including the part on Government land. However, this does not give the lot owner the right to display advertisements at that part of the footbridge that is on Government land. In this regard, the Lands Department had advised the lot owner to remove the advertisement display that was on Government land. The lot owner had complied with the advice and removed the advertisement display.
As regards the problem of parking at the public open space, the Lands Department wrote to the lot owner upon receipt of complaint, requesting them to stop using the public open space for parking. The Lands Department will continue to monitor the situation and will take appropriate action if there is any further breach of the lease conditions.
End/Wednesday, April 17, 2002