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Government proceeds to declare King Yin Lei as a proposed monument

The Government will commence the statutory procedure under section 2A of the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Chapter 53) to declare King Yin Lei at 45 Stubbs Road as a proposed monument.

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in her capacity as the Antiquities Authority, will, in accordance with the prescribed procedure in the ordinance, consult the Antiquities Advisory Board on the declaration of King Yin Lei as a proposed monument. With the agreement of board chairman Mr Edward Ho, the board will hold a special meeting this afternoon (September 14) to discuss the matter. Subject to the board's support, the declaration will be published by notice in the Gazette as soon as possible and take immediate effect.

The proposed monument declaration, which will be valid for 12 months, will enable the Antiquities Authority to consider in a comprehensive manner whether or not the building should be declared as a monument under the ordinance, and allow time to negotiate with the owner on possible preservation options.

Once a building has been declared a proposed monument, it will be subject to stringent controls provided for under the ordinance. These include the prohibition of any building or other works to demolish, remove, obstruct, deface or interfere with a proposed monument unless a permit is granted by the Antiquities Authority.

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said the Government was very concerned about the works carried out at the building. After receiving reports about the works, a number of government departments, including the Antiquities and Monuments Office, Buildings Department, Architectural Services Department and Labour Department, conducted site inspections yesterday and the findings were reported to the Secretary for Development.

Although the Buildings Department confirmed that no demolition work had been carried out, they issued a letter to the people on site reminding them that under the Buildings Ordinance, approval must be obtained from the Department before carrying out any demolition or building works which require approval.

Professional assessment of the Antiquities and Monuments Office, the executive arm of the Antiquities Authority, suggests that the building is of sufficient historical significance that may warrant its declaration as a monument.

Ends/Friday, September 14, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:50