The Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) had received about 360 submissions from the public on the proposed grading of 1,444 historic buildings, a spokesman for AMO said today (August 12).
The public was invited by the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) in mid-March to give views before the end of July on the proposed grading and provide additional information on those 1,444 historic buildings in Hong Kong.
The concerns expressed by building owners were mainly over the grading implications on their properties and development rights. Some owners suggested that their buildings should be downgraded or taken from the list.
There were also suggestions to upgrade certain historic buildings, such as the Central Market, Shek O Tin Hau Temple, Lei Yue Mun Tin Hau Temple, the shophouses in Shanghai Street, the pill box and stone house in Diamond Hill, and the former Royal Air Force Station Buildings in Kai Tak.
In the case of the Central Market, which is currently a Grade III building, suggestions for a higher grading are based on its social, historical and architectural merits, as well as its rarity and authenticity. As for the Shek O Tin Hau Temple and Lei Yue Mun Tin Hau Temple, views have been expressed that they are landmarks of the areas, having a long history and bearing much social value. As regards the shophouses in Shanghai Street, the pill box and stone house in Diamond Hill, and the former Royal Air Force Station Buildings in Kai Tak, the suggestion for a higher grading is due to their group value and rarity, and being historic structures barely left in their respective districts.
During the consultation period, the AAB met representatives from 17 District Councils and four professional bodies - Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, Hong Kong Institute of Planners and Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors to listen to their views.
Based on comments received from the public and owners of those privately-owned historic buildings, AMO will review the preliminary assessment result in consultation with AAB’s Expert Panel, and submit recommendations to the AAB for consideration.
AAB will have more meetings in the next few months to go through all the 1,444 buildings in detail and consider public feedback as well as AMO/Expert Panel’s advice. It is expected that the final results will be available by the end of the year.
The assessment results of the historic buildings and the proposed grading, are available on AMO’s website www.amo.gov.hk/en/aab.php.
Ends/Wednesday, August 12, 2009