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Move To Rezone The Repulse Bay Site

What do you think of the move to rezone the Repulse Bay site?

Updated on Sep 10, 2008 – SCMP

The Repulse Bay Company (owner of 101 and 109 Repulse Bay Road) strongly objects to the proposed rezoning of the existing Seaview Building and the adjacent public car park from “beach-related leisure uses” and “open space” to “comprehensive development area”.

There needs to be an exhaustive and comprehensive study or vision for the development of the beach in its entirety.

Almost daily, traffic on Beach Road comes to a standstill due to traffic congestion caused by tour coaches, not to mention noise pollution with honking car horns. The lack of a coach parking facility and very limited parking spaces for private cars make the traffic flow on this one-way road unacceptable.

A piecemeal approach to redevelopment of this area would have a detrimental effect on the neighbourhood.

The uniqueness of the pristine beach must be maintained. Any redevelopment should not be overly bulky.

Redevelopment of the site for hotel purposes would not, from our extensive experience in this field, being affiliated with The Peninsula Hotels, enhance this beach in terms of tourism value. It would only increase traffic congestion and the density of the area, thus negatively affecting the beach’s serenity.

From an operational point of view the site does not offer much privacy due to its proximity to a public beach, thereby affecting the potential room rate that could be charged. Finally, the size of the site limits the possibility to offer support facilities for such an operation.

We agree with the government’s suggestion to put the site to better use to enhance the tourism value of the area.

We envision the area being turned into a public space with open areas for staging rotating youth art exhibitions or something similar, sitting-out areas, a playground, skateboard area for teenagers, a boardwalk feature connecting the existing boardwalk from Deep Water Bay with the Kwun Yum and Tin Hau temples at the eastern end of the beach, and limited commercial activity.

This approach would undoubtedly enhance The Repulse Bay as a comprehensive sightseeing destination for the neighbourhood, the public and tourists alike. This beach is one of Hong Kong’s prime beaches and it would have irreversible negative effects to turn this last section of it into an extensive hotel/commercial development.

Palle Ledet Jensen, general manager, The Repulse Bay Company Limited

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