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LCQ7: Development of Site 3 of new Central Harbourfront
     Following is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (November 2):

     At its meeting on the 30th of September this year, the Metro Planning Committee of the Town Planning Board agreed to the Draft Planning Brief for the Comprehensive Development Area zone at Site 3 of the new Central harbourfront. The site is earmarked for commercial development and the General Post Office (GPO) building, which has occupied that site for nearly 40 years, will have to be demolished. The developer will be required to construct the district-tied facilities of GPO (including the GPO Counter Office and the Post Office Box Section, the GPO Delivery Office, and the Speedpost Section) on a location north of Lung Wo Road within Site 3. The existing GPO building will be demolished after those facilities have been handed over to Hong Kong Post for use. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1)     of the procedure, and its details, to be followed by the Government for granting the development project at Site 3 to the developer; the reasons why the Government will entrust the design and construction of the district-tied facilities of GPO to the developer;

(2)     of the details and outcome of the public consultations conducted in the past by the Government in respect of the development project; and

(3)     whether it has assessed the quantity of construction waste to be generated by the demolition of the existing GPO building, and how the authorities will dispose of such construction waste?



     Site 3 of the new Central Harbourfront (Site 3) is one of the eight key sites in the study area of Planning Department's (PlanD) Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront (UDS). The study was commissioned in 2007 in response to the request of the Town Planning Board (TPB) and completed in March 2011. Through comprehensive public engagement, the study refined the urban design framework for the new Central harbourfront and provided guidance to the detailed planning and design of the eight key sites. The UDS recommended Site 3 to be developed comprehensively for a commercial development mainly for office and retail uses with the provision of a landscaped pedestrian deck, public open space and other supporting facilities. The Government is gradually taking forward long-term development of Site 3 in accordance with the recommendations of the UDS. The General Post Office (GPO) building, currently situated in the part of Site 3 to the south of Lung Wo Road, would be demolished after suitable reprovisioning, to facilitate the development of Site 3 according to the planned design.
     My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:

(1)     Based on the design concept of Site 3 recommended under the UDS, the Government prepared a planning brief setting out the broad development parameters and the planning and design requirements of the site and submitted the brief to the Metro Planning Committee (MPC) of the TPB for consideration on September 30, 2016. The MPC agreed the PlanD to consult the Central and Western District Council (C&WDC) and the Harbourfront Commission (HC) on the draft planning brief. After consultation, the Government would review the draft planning brief, make suitable amendments if necessary, and submit the brief to the MPC for further consideration and endorsement. The Government will put up Site 3 for public sale after completing the planning and other relevant procedures.

     In parallel, the work related to reprovisioning of the GPO building is in progress. The reprovisioning would be divided into two parts: the Government plans to reprovision Hongkong Post Headquarters at the government land near the Central Mail Centre in Kowloon Bay; as for district-tied postal facilities (viz. GPO Delivery Office, Speedpost Section, GPO Post Office Counters and Post Office Box Section), they would be reprovisioned in the part of Site 3 to the north of Lung Wo Road. The reprovisioned postal facilities should align with the design concept of Site 3. The planning brief therefore requires the developer to holistically design and construct the facilities within the development, and hand over the facilities to Hongkong Post after completion for continued and uninterrupted provision of postal services.

(2)     During the UDS, the Government completed two stages of a comprehensive public engagement (PE) exercise in 2007 and 2008 respectively. During the PE process, the Government presented to the public design concepts of individual key sites including that for Site 3. The proposed design concepts of Site 3 required demolishing existing buildings including the GPO building for redevelopment. 

     The Stage 1 PE of the UDS was conducted between May and September 2007 and it invited public views on the urban design objectives and issues, sustainable design assessment frameworks and urban design considerations for the key sites. A series of public engagement activities were arranged including a focus group workshop for professional and academic institutions, community engagement forum, public exhibition, etc. The PlanD also briefed and consulted the TPB, the former Harbour-front Enhancement Committee (HEC), relevant District Councils and other relevant advisory bodies. A questionnaire survey was also undertaken.

     The Stage 2 PE was conducted between April and August 2008 to collect public views mainly on the refined urban design framework, as well as design concepts for key sites including Site 3. The public engagement activities organised included large scale public exhibitions, roving exhibitions, a focus group workshop and a community engagement forum. We also collected public views through comment cards, telephone polls, face-to-face interviews, as well as invitation of written submissions. The Government also conducted briefing sessions for the TPB, the HEC, the Antiquities Advisory Board, all 18 District Councils, academic and professional institutes, and other relevant public and advisory bodies.

     During the two-stage PE, the Government briefed the Legislative Council former Panel on Planning, Lands and Works Subcommittee to Review the Planning for the Central Waterfront (including the Tamar Site), Panel on Home Affairs and Panel on Development on June 28, 2007; April 11, 2008 and April 22, 2008 respectively and listened to members' views.

     As pointed out in the Final Report of the UDS Stage 2 Public Engagement Public Opinion Collection Exercise, the design concepts for Site 3 were generally supported. After completing Stage 2 PE, the Government also briefed the Legislative Council Panel on Development former Subcommittee on Harbourfront Planning, relevant District Council, the HEC and the TPB in 2009 and 2010 on the result of the PE exercise, the recommended revised design concepts for the key sites and the revised Master Layout Plan (MLP). After undergoing a comprehensive consultation process, the PlanD made public the final report of the UDS in March 2011, which made detailed recommendations on the MLP for the new Central harbourfront and design concepts of key sites including Site 3. The recommended design concept for Site 3 that was finally adopted included a continuous landscaped deck and associated pedestrian connections linking the core area of Central with the new Central harbourfront.  Retaining existing buildings within the site including the GPO building would render the design concept impracticable.

     After a series of preparations and studies, the Government prepared the draft planning brief for Site 3 in September 2016 in accordance with the recommendations of the UDS and consulted the C&WDC and the HC.

(3)     The part of Site 3 to the south of Lung Wo Road would be handed over to the developer after completion of the development in the part of Site 3 to the north of Lung Wo Road and relocation of existing facilities in the GPO building. The developer is required by the Town Planning Ordinance to make a MLP submission to the TPB for approval before commencing the overall construction works. The developer needs to demolish the GPO building during development, and handle construction waste arising from the development in accordance with existing statutory requirements. The Government would also consider requiring the developer to prepare a waste management plan for the demolition of vacant buildings in Site 3 in accordance with relevant waste reduction guidelines and technical circular of the Government.
Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:30
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