Date
17 October 2017
The latest project update, which has an oval-shaped building completely removed from the plan, has sparked a public outcry. Photo: Urban Renewal Authority
The latest project update, which has an oval-shaped building completely removed from the plan, has sparked a public outcry. Photo: Urban Renewal Authority

URA under fire for big change to Kwun Tong redevelopment project

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) is drawing flak over a change in plans for an iconic oval-shaped building in a major Kwun Tong redevelopment project.

The latest project update, which has the oval-shaped building completely removed from the plan, has sparked a public outcry, Apple Daily reports.

URA managing director Wai Chi-sing said in a blog post on Sunday that there had been insufficient communication with the Kwun Tong District Council before the plan was submitted.

The controversy came only a few weeks after the Sai Yee Street Project was criticised for falling short of expectations after 10 years of planning and construction.

This included the disappearance of a proposed public space intended to be an open garden and a sports hall of fame.

The revised Kwun Tong plan erased the iconic oval landmark and a few green spaces.

The Kwun Tong District Council sent a letter to the Town Planning Board criticizing the URA for skipping the consultation process.

Wai said in his post that the redevelopment project area four and five are near Yue Man Square, which was supposed to be developed at the same time.

However, the fifth area has been delayed as there are too many illegal constructions. Also, a case of adverse possession is still awaiting trial which has delayed the URA’s plans, he said.

Wai said the URA decided not to release any designs for redevelopment without carefully planning beforehand in order to avoid future problems.

A spokesperson for the URA said the authority would only provide information after restarting the project and would only publicize information that has been confirmed such as the area of development.

The URA would avoid releasing unconfirmed information such as the area of the buildings, percentage of the green spaces, height of the buildings and the technicalities of the design.

However, Victor Yuen Chi-yan, convenor of Living in Kwun Tong, criticised the decision, saying the URA has been ignoring people’s ideas and comments.

He said the URA should improve communication with the District Council and the public.

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