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URA proposes alternative implementation concept for conserving Wing Lee Street

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Tuesday) proposed an alternative implementation concept for conserving Wing Lee Street for Town Planning Board (TPB)'s reference, in addition to the conservation-led redevelopment plan for the Staunton Street/Wing Lee Street project announced by URA in November 2008.

The Chairman of the URA, Mr Barry Cheung, outlined details of the alternative implementation concept at a media briefing this afternoon.

Mr Cheung recalled that the Staunton Street/Wing Lee Street project was one of the 25 projects announced by the former Land Development Corporation in 1998. Both the Legislative Council and the Government have asked that it be taken as a priority project as there have been repeated demands from residents concerned calling for the early implementation of the project so as to help improve their living environment due to poor housing conditions.

In November 2008, the URA has decided to take a conservation-led redevelopment approach for the project to tie in with the Government conservation policy on revitalising the Former Police Married Quarters site on Hollywood Road.

Under this conservation-led redevelopment approach, the URA proposed in its revised Master Layout Plan to maintain the terrace ambience on Wing Lee Street by preserving three tenement buildings and re-creating new low-rise buildings with the similar typology, height and scale of the existing tenement buildings on that terrace.  A small plaza will be created at the junction of Wing Lee Street and Shing Wong Street to enhance the visibility to the adjoining Victorian stone pitch wall at the back of Wing Lee Street.  The Bridges Street Market building will also be renovated for adaptive re-use with an open space provided on the rooftop. 

In view of the Chief Executive's 'Conserving Central' plan announced in his Policy Address, and the recent community sentiment calling for the preservation of all the tenement buildings on Wing Lee Street to upkeep its originality, the Authority has come up with an alternative implementation concept.

Under this proposed concept, the Wing Lee Street could become a 'preservation zone' where the buildings can be kept in their present form.

Mr Cheung said if the alternative implementation concept was considered more appropriate by the TPB, the URA would volunteer itself to rehabilitate its acquired buildings as well as assisting other owners under URA's Voluntary Restoration Scheme and Building Rehabilitation Schemes to upkeep the conditions of buildings.

The URA will continue to implement plans for the other two sites (i.e. sites B and C) of the project in accordance with the approved Development Scheme Proposal.