Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, (in the absence of Secretary for Development)in the Legislative Council today (May 5):
It has been learnt that the Hopewell Centre II development project (the development) in Wan Chai includes the provision of a pedestrian walkway along the flyover connecting Kennedy Road to the development and a tunnel, and the developer may deduct the costs of the works from the land premium payable. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) apart from connecting Kennedy Road to the hotel included in the development, what other places the aforesaid pedestrian walkway will connect;
(b) whether the pedestrian walkway is a private street;
(c) of the details of the public's right of access to the pedestrian walkway and tunnel (including their opening hours and restrictions on the right of access to that road section);
(d) whether it has assessed the amount of land premium to be foregone by the Government which is attributable to the pedestrian walkway and tunnel; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(e) what approach the authorities will take to regulate the construction, use and management of the pedestrian walkway and tunnel?
The Hopewell Centre II development was approved by the Town Planning Board (TPB) in 1994 subject to conditions which include the widening of and improvement to Kennedy Road, including the provision of a new flyover and tunnel access to the hotel site as necessitated by the proposed development, and the design of pedestrian access to the proposed development, as proposed by the Applicant, to the satisfaction of the Director of Planning or the TPB. These works will help to cope with the generated right-turn traffic on Kennedy Road into and out of the existing Hopewell Centre and the future Hopewell Centre II, thereby alleviating the traffic impact of the proposed development on Kennedy Road and its vicinity. Besides, the pedestrian access along the flyover can enhance the safety of pedestrians crossing Kennedy Road and mitigate the traffic impact brought by the development.
My reply to various parts of the question is as follows:
(a) As mentioned above, the proposed flyover cum pedestrian access and tunnel access will connect the Hopewell Centre II to Kennedy Road.
(b) and (c) The flyover cum pedestrian access and the tunnel access are located on Government land and will be open for public use 24 hours a day. They are therefore not regarded as private roads.
(d) The Hopewell Centre II development has not yet reached the premium assessment stage. The land exchange arrangements will only be finalised by the Lands Department (Lands D) upon authorisation of the road improvement works (RIW) by the relevant authorities and the submission of detailed information by the developer.
According to the existing land exchange arrangements, applications for land exchange will be subject to payment of full market value premium by the developer. The land premium is the difference between the value of the land owned by the developer before and after the land exchange. In assessing the land value, the professional valuers of Lands D will normally deduct the "development costs" to be borne by the developer as well as a reasonable profit margin from the "estimated sale value" of the completed development. The "estimated sale value" after land exchange generally refers to the sale value of the completed development on the land. As regards the Hopewell Centre II development, in estimating its sale value, the professional valuers will also take into account that the development will benefit from the RIW which form part and parcel of the development. Since the development costs (including the costs of the RIW) are to be borne by the developer, the professional valuers will assess the costs of the RIW and include them in the "development costs" which will then be deducted from the "estimated sale value".
(e) The developer's responsibility of maintaining and managing the facilities and ensuring the public's access to them will be clearly stipulated in the conditions of land exchange. The relevant authorities will monitor to ensure that the use and operation of the proposed flyover cum pedestrian access and tunnel access (including management and maintenance) on Kennedy Road are in compliance with the conditions of land exchange.
Ends/Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:13