Partial uplifting of Pokfulam Moratorium facilitates preservation of Jessville

The Chief Executive in Council has approved the partial uplifting of the Pokfulam Moratorium to facilitate the "preservation-cum-development" proposal for the preservation of the historic building at 128 Pokfulam Road, commonly known as "Jessville".

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said today (September 30) that the scheme had achieved a proper balance between heritage conservation and respect for private development rights. The approval for the partial uplifting of the Pokfulam Moratorium will facilitate the necessary lease modification for implementing the "preservation-cum-development" proposal.

After the successful preservation of King Yin Lei as a declared monument, this is the second case of Government successfully preserving a privately owned historic building through the application of appropriate economic incentives under our new heritage conservation policy.

"Although it is not our policy intent to preserve each and every Grade 3 building which is defined as 'buildings of some merit; preservation in some form would be desirable and alternative means could be considered if preservation is not practicable', the Administration will facilitate such preservation by the private owners as far as practicable. The case of Jessville demonstrates Government's commitment in heritage conservation," the spokesman said.

Constructed around 1931, Jessville is a private residence built in Italian Renaissance architectural style with Art Deco variations. It has been accorded Grade 3 status by the Antiquities Advisory Board.

Following discussions between the owners and relevant government departments through co-ordination by the Commissioner for Heritage's Office of the Development Bureau, the owners proposed to preserve Jessville under a "preservation-cum-development" scheme. Jessville will be fully preserved and revitalised as a club house for the residents but it will be open for public visit free of charge at least once a week.

According to the scheme approved by the Town Planning Board, the new development will be developed to a plot ratio of 2.1, which is within the maximum permitted plot ratio of 3 under the Pokfulam Outline Zoning Plan. It will comprise two blocks with a total of 72 flats.

As the site is subject to the Pokfulam Moratorium, which imposes administrative restrictions on developments requiring lease modification because of traffic concerns, a traffic impact assessment has been commissioned by the owners. The study indicates that the amount of traffic generated from the proposal will be acceptable. The study has been submitted to and accepted by the Transport Department.

Ends/Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:21