LDAC supports redevelopment of Mariners' Club in Tsim Sha Tsui

At its meeting today (June 25), the Land and Development Advisory Committee (LDAC) advised the Government to support three land development projects handled by the Development Opportunities Office.

Members considered a proposal by the Sailors' Home and Missions to Seamen to redevelop the Mariners' Club in Tsim Sha Tsui into a composite building with new club facilities and a hotel. Members noted that the proposed redevelopment will provide club facilities of enhanced standard for the seafarers. The hotel development can also provide additional financial resources to support long-term operation of the Club and its future activities organised to promote the welfare of the seafarer's community.

Members generally supported the project as it would enable the proponent to redesign the club facilities to meet the needs of seafarers today and better utilise the land at this prime site. Since the Club is located in Tsim Sha Tsui, a popular tourist district, the proposed hotel would help ease the shortage of hotel rooms and support Hong Kong's tourism development.

The Committee also discussed a proposal by the Servicemen's Guides Association to refurbish its building at Fenwick Pier in Wan Chai. Members noted that the refurbished building would provide more space for the Association to enhance its capacity in providing hospitality services for visiting naval personnel. Members also noted that the proponent would open the building and the open spaces on site to the public.

Members supported the proposed refurbishment, because it would allow the project proponent to provide better hospitality services to visiting naval personnel and help maintain Hong Kong's status as an international transport hub and an attractive destination for overseas visitors. They also recognised that the spending of visiting naval personnel during their stay would bring considerable economic benefits to Hong Kong. Members welcomed the proponent's plan to open the building and the passageway connecting to the new Central Harbourfront to the public and agreed that it would enhance the accessibility and add vibrancy to the new harbourfront. Since the building is situated next to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Arts Centre, some members suggested that the proponent should consider forming partnership with them to better utilise the facilities in the refurbished building.

The Committee also considered a proposal by Hong Kong Polytechnic University to extend its campus to Ho Man Tin to provide more space for academic facilities and student hostels. Members noted that the proponent would open some of the facilities such as health clinics and social service centre for public use. The development, which will incorporate sustainable building features, will be a showcase of green architecture in Hong Kong and promote public awareness of sustainable development.

Members supported the project and considered that it would better utilise land resource and relieve the University's shortage of academic facilities and student hostel places to meet its long-term development needs. Members also appreciated the proponent's willingness to adopt green building design and features using its own resources and provide public recreational spaces accessible to the public. They also agreed that the proposed elevated green deck could enhance connectivity between Ho Man Tin and Hung Hom for the University's students and the public.

This is the last meeting of LDAC during its current term. The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, expressed at the meeting her gratitude to members for their impartial, professional and comprehensive advice to the Government on land development policies and project proposals handled by the Development Opportunities Office over the past three years. The guidance and support of the Committee has enabled the Government to formulate land development policies that could respond well to the needs of the community and facilitate land development projects that carry broader economic or social merits proposed by non-governmental organisations and private sector proponents. She specifically thanked and commended the retiring Chairman, Mr Andrew Liao, for leading the Committee over the past three years in providing support and encouragement to the work of the Government in formulating land development policies and co-ordinating land development projects.

Ends/Monday, June 25, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:32