Public consultation launched on new landscape of Central Government Offices

The Development Bureau and the Planning Department today (September 17) launched a two-month public consultation exercise on the new landscape of Central Government Offices (CGO).

The CGO Complex is one of the eight projects under the "Conserving Central" initiative announced in the Chief Executive's 2009-10 Policy Address. The initiative has received broad public support.

As envisaged in the project, the Main and East Wings which are connected will be preserved for use by the Department of Justice after the relocation of the existing users to the new Central Government Complex at Tamar by end-2011. The West Wing, a standalone building built in 1959, which is of low historical significance and architectural merit, will be demolished for commercial development and to make way for an upgraded public garden in this part of Central.

Speaking on the proposed scheme, a Development Bureau spokesman said, "The proposal has four defining features: to provide more greenery; to improve pedestrian connectivity; to preserve the heritage precinct and to ensure a building design compatible with the surrounding developments in Central. We are seeking the public's views before we begin the statutory process to amend the Central District Outline Zoning Plan.

"Among the four defining features, enhanced greenery is the guiding theme," the spokesman added.

With the aim of restoring a green Central, upon demolition of the West Wing, a public open space totalling 6,800 square metres will be provided. This comprises public open space to be provided by the developer within a development site of 5,720 square metres on the western side and public open space to be provided on government land on the eastern side. This is of similar size to Statue Square.

The spokesman noted that the proposed public open space will restore the appearance of the CGO site to its condition before the existing Main, East and West Wings were built.

It will extend the greenery from Government House down to Battery Path and Ice House Street. All the existing Old and Valuable Trees on site, including a Burmese Rosewood in the central courtyard of the Main Wing, will be preserved.

The proposed new commercial building at the western end of the development site will be subject to a total gross floor area of about 42,000 square metres and a maximum building height of 150mPD (metres above Principal Datum), estimated to be about 32 storeys.

"A green facade concept with a vegetated podium will be adopted for the lower part of the new commercial building to provide visual relief at the busy junction of Queen's Road Central and Ice House Street. The public open space and its green backdrop will further enhance the setting of the surrounding monuments and historical landmarks," the spokesman added.

The public open space will be easily accessible from Queen's Road Central through Battery Path or through the new commercial building. A new landscaped footbridge to The Galleria will connect the site to the existing footbridge network in Central.

The new commercial building will be set back to facilitate the widening of Ice House Street and provide more space for pedestrians.

"We believe that the proposed scheme is a responsible act of conservation cum development, striking a good balance between meeting the continuous demand for office premises in Central and public aspirations for a quality urban environment," the spokesman said.

An exhibition of the proposed scheme, comprising displays and a model, will be held at the Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery at Murray Road Multi-storey Car Park Building in Central. The Development Bureau and the Planning Department will also consult the Legislative Council Panel on Development and the Central and Western District Council.

Details on the exhibition and the proposed scheme are available on the websites of the Development Bureau and the Planning Department at and .

Views and comments are welcome and should be sent to the Special Duties Section of the Planning Department by post (address: 15/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong), by fax (2577 3075) or via email ( by November 30, 2010.

Ends/Friday, September 17, 2010
Issued at HKT 20:09