Today the Urban Renewal Authority (市建局) proposed against redeveloping opting to preserve Wing Lee Street, Sheung Wan (永利街) after overwhelming public sentiment against its redevelopment along with neighbouring Staunton Street (士丹頓街). This street’s redevelopment has generated great public interest especially after the perceived failure of the Choi Yuen Tsuen (菜園村) decision months earlier.
It is now proposed that the street be designated a zone for conservation use (特設保育規劃用途地帶). Staunton Street will continue to be redeveloped as planned.
The Government will inject more funds into restoring the buildings on the street and to revitalise the nearby market.
Hong Kong is not known for preserving its history. Have a look around and you will notice that an old relic is hard to find amidst the myriad of skyscrapers.
The Hong Kong Government has been heavily criticised by protection groups for its disregard for Hong Kong’s architectural history. This reached new highs with the January 2010 decision to demolish Choi Yuen Tsuen in favour of a high-speed railway (港深高速鐵路) connecting West Kowloon with Guangzhou via Shenzhen. Other notable demolished landmarks include Star Ferry Pier, Central (天星碼頭) and Queen’s Pier, Central (皇后碼頭).
The proposal goes to the Town Planning Board (城規會) on March 19.