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Members of the Heritage Advisory Panel viewing the future design of the Peel Street/Graham Street project.
Members of the Heritage Advisory Panel tour the site today.

Heritage Advisory Panel on Peel Street/Graham Street project

A heritage advisory panel newly set up under the Central & Western District Advisory Committee (C&W DAC) of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) met today (Wednesday) to study and recommend ways to promote heritage conservation features in the Peel Street/Graham Street redevelopment project.

The URA intends to preserve three pre-war shop houses at 26A-26C Graham Street for adaptive re-use as well as the façade of Wing Woo Grocery within the project site, where structurally feasible.

"We attach a great deal of importance to this $3.8 billion project which is sited at a bustling location full of interesting historical features.  Over the past two years, a bottom-up approach has been adopted to solicit community views on the way forward for the project.  A Master Layout Plan for the project has been drafted and submitted to the Town Planning Board earlier this year for approval," a spokesman for the URA said.

"We also intend to preserve the open-air hawker bazaar at Graham Street, a well-known local characteristic, as well as to create an old shop street there."

"The creation of an old shop street is such a new and innovative idea in Hong Kong that we deem it very important to engage the local community, the District Council as well as experts in the field to study and recommend ways on the possible way forward," he added.

The C& W DAC has therefore set up a heritage advisory panel for the project and invited representatives of the local District Council, District Office and the community to join in.  Chaired by Mr Kam Nai-wai, who is also a member of the C&W District Council, the committee comprises DC members Mr Yuen Bun-keung, Mr Chan Chit-kwai, Mr Chung Yam-cheung and Mr Lam Kin-lai; representatives of the Central & Western District Office and the URA; residents' representatives Mr Kan Kei and Mrs Lee Lui Siu-ling, a representative of the hawkers Mrs Yau Luk Chiu-ying. A veteran heritage conservationist, Mr Cheng Po-hung, is appointed as advisor to the panel.
Another important task of the panel is to make suggestions on how hawking activities at Graham Street and Peel Street may be preserved.

Before meeting for the first time today, the panel members carried out an inspection of the site and the pre-war architecture there.

Occupying a ground area of about 57, 240 square feet, the project site currently has 37 buildings, including four pre-war blocks, mostly built in the mid-50s and late-60s.