Opposition to the redevelopment of Western Police J.P.O. Married Headquarters A/H3/440
Launched: 29 January 2019
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
According to the application document uploaded to the Town Planning Board website, the redevelopment programme will affect the Western Police J.P.O. Married Headquarters on Queen's Road West and the three-storey tenements on the Des Voeux Road West. The plan is to build a large car park and crowd control barriers storage area at the ground floor of the new building which is directly accessible from the Police Station open space, a floor of gymnasium with 2 large locker rooms for male and female, and a separate car park at the new Queen's Road West vehicle entrance. The separate car park will be providing 71 private parking spaces and six motorcycle parking spaces for the living quarters.
There has been a lack of public facilities in Sai Ying Pun, and cross-party stakeholders of the community have been requesting for more public facilities for the people's livelihood. Even the Social Welfare Department has endorsed this request. However, The Police Force has gone back on their word and spoilt the chance of improving the situation.
Please sign the petition to request the Town Planning Board to veto the application.
To Town Planning Board:
I oppose the planning application A/H3/440, reasons as follows:
The Western Police J.P.O. Married Headquarters has been left vacant since 2006. During the 13 years of vacancy, community members from across parties have been fighting continuously for community facilities to be built in the site or to convert the living quarters into interim housing. The Government Audit Office has also criticized The Police Force for wasting land resources, and in its 2008 year report urged The Police Force to improve.
In my opinion, public space in this community is severely inadequate. Thus I request the Town Planning Board to veto the subject application and let the District Council discuss on opening the site or part of the floors for public facilities.
The traffic in Queen's Road West is close to overload, but The Police Force still neglects the fact and plans to provide more than 70 private parking spaces at the living quarters with car entrance at the busy Queen's Road West Main Road. This will add burden to the traffic load in the area, as well as the frontline police.
Felling of 40 large trees within the police station site is required in the reconstruction plan, several of which are grown on the stone enclosure walls of the police station. These are very healthy trees which grew along with the neighbourhood. It is difficult to compensate for cutting down of historic trees, and there is yet to be any remedial measures for the ruthless felling, nor are there any public consultations. The levelled wooded site is rare in the Sai Ying Pun community, and the felling of these 40 large trees will be a one-off lost of green plantings of this area. In addition to affecting the view of nearby roads, it is also likely to intensify the heat island effect in the area.
The Police Force states in the document that there is a need to increase living quarters for married staff, but the reasons are insufficient. I urge The Police Force to submit figures and justifications to confirm that the urgency of the subject redevelopment plan overrides public interest.