BUILDING & ENGINEERING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Central Oasis to be ready by 2020

First phase to be finished in 5 years.

According to a report, the first phase of the proposed Central Oasis project to revitalise the former Central Market is expected to be completed by 2017-18, while the whole project will be completed by 2019-20.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan made the statement to lawmakers today, saying the project is two years behind the original plan. The new dates are subject to Town Planning Board approval.

"Apart from being affected by the legal action relating to the draft Outline Zoning Plan, the original work schedule has also been slightly put back as there are complicated issues to be resolved in getting the novel design of the revitalised building to comply with the existing building and other safety regulations."

He said the Government proposed to hand over the Central Market to the Urban Renewal Authority in October 2009 for conservation and revitalisation. The authority plans to conduct the revitalisation work in two phases.

"According to the original plan, the Urban Renewal Authority would, upon completion of the public engagement exercise in mid-2011, submit a planning application to the Town Planning Board in mid-2012 on the major additions and alterations proposed to the Central Market building. The plan at the time was to complete the Phase I works in 2015-16 with the whole project to be completed by 2017-18."

Mr Chan said the rezoning of the Central Market was incorporated in the draft Central District Outline Zoning Plan gazetted on July 16, 2010. As the approval of the subject Outline Zoning Plan was delayed due to the judicial review and appeal proceedings since 2011, the Urban Renewal Authority could not submit its planning application to the Town Planning Board in 2012 as scheduled.

"When the subject legal action ended in early 2013, the Chief Executive in Council approved the draft Outline Zoning Plan in April 2013. The Urban Renewal Authority promptly finalised the planning application for the former Central Market building for submission to the Town Planning Board by mid-2013."

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