Preservation-cum-development of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Compound in Central

The Chief Executive-in-Council has approved the land lease modification for Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (HKSKH)'s Compound at Lower Albert Road (Central site) and the in-situ land exchange for another HKSKH site at Clementi Road, Mount Butler (Mount Butler site) at nominal premium to facilitate HKSKH to implement a preservation-cum-development project which will preserve all four historic buildings at the Central site.

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said today (June 15) that the approval demonstrated the Government's commitment to heritage conservation and the HKSKH project represented a good balance between heritage conservation and development undertaken by a non-government non-profit-making body.

"This is another example of the successful conservation of privately-owned historic buildings under the Government's new heritage conservation policy announced in the 2007-08 Policy Address through the provision of justified economic incentives. As one of the eight projects under the 'Conserving Central' initiative announced in the 2009-10 Policy Address, this project will help to conserve the unique character of Central District," the spokesman added.

HKSKH's Central site contains a religious landmark and important symbols of the development of the Anglican Church in Hong Kong. Four historic buildings carry important group and social value within the site - Bishop's House (Grade 1 historic building), St Paul's Church (Grade 1 historic building), Church Guest House (Grade 1 historic building) and Old Sheng Kung Hui Kei Yan Primary School (Grade 2 historic building).

Following discussions between HKSKH and relevant government departments co-ordinated by the Commissioner for Heritage's Office of the Development Bureau, HKSKH proposed a preservation-cum-development proposal on a non-profit-making basis.  

Under the proposal, all four historic buildings at the Central site will be preserved, and two new buildings will be constructed to meet HKSKH's need for additional space to provide a variety of church and community services, including a church, places for religious purposes with ancillary accommodation, a kindergarten, medical facilities, social welfare facilities and facilities to promote environmental protection and awareness.  

To reduce the development intensity at the Central site in order not to adversely affect the historic buildings, HKSKH will relocate some of the existing uses and additional uses originally meant to be provided by redevelopment at the Central site to HKSKH's Mount Butler site. Services and facilities to be located at the Mount Butler site include a complex for theological and other education-related uses, together with ancillary religious facilities, an ancillary hostel and a kindergarten.

"The community will benefit from the expanded range of community services available after completion of the redevelopment project as well as enhanced public access to the Central site for better appreciation of the four historic buildings," the spokesman said.

Subject to the completion of the lease modification and the in-situ land exchange procedures, HKSKH plans to commence construction works by the end of 2011 for completion in 2015. All construction expenses will be borne by HKSKH.

Ends/Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:08