<TPB housing plan creeps into Dragon Kiln conservation area; revitalization plans seriously under threat>
2019 Jan 11
關注組成員唐嘉汶質疑當局考慮不足：「我們對政府不發展龍窯的決定表示歡迎，可是在龍窯30米外又打椿、又拆樓，龍窯的結構及安危明顯受到威脅。」 另外， 草圖並沒有清晰交待建屋用地的界線及大廈的位置及大小，也不清楚將會利用那種打椿的方法，關注組認為城規會應澄清細節，釋除公眾的疑惑。
去年關注組提出了建議書，希望將培愛學校舊址結合龍窯活化成集社區功能、藝術及保育於一身的「陶瓷社區中心」，為人口不斷增長的屯門區創造一個文化地標，並教育市民本港鮮為人知的工業及陶藝歷史。 屯門區議員譚駿賢提出：「我對政府一意孤行表示遺憾。此外，我們對城規會完全沒有聽取關注組的建議，包括在青山龍窯一帶建立『living museum』 及陶藝教育中心等隻字不提感到可惜。一旦建屋工程落實，當局應在有關工程開始前，與關注組等人士協商，冀可在新建築物中，落實上述有關建議，讓保育龍窯之餘，也可為地區帶來一度人文與藝術風景。」
Town Planning Board (TPB) has released its decision on the Tuen Mun Outline Zoning Plan draft, choosing to demolish the former Pui Oi School to make way for public housing. In addition, the public housing site has been enlarged by taking part of the original conservation area of the Dragon Kiln. This decision poses a serious threat to Hong Kong’s only remaining and complete Dragon Kiln, putting its structural integrity and overall safety in danger. Sadly, this move also virtually eliminates the possibility of revitalizing this site into a Living Museum for Hong Kong people.
While the Hong Kong Dragon Kiln Concern Group supports the government’s plan to provide more housing, it is disappointed that their Conservation and Revitalization Proposal for the Castle Peak Pottery Kiln has not been accepted by the government.
“I understand the Government’s need to seek more land for housing, however, using this site to do so shows incredible shortsightedness. Developing this historical site into a cultural landmark is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Legislative Council member Roy Kwong Chun-Yu pointed out.
“The Hong Kong Dragon Kiln Concern Group is very disappointed by the decision of the Town Planning Board. Our Group unveiled a Conservation and Revitalization Proposal for the kiln in 2018 which was widely supported by the public. Despite a great deal of interest in our proposal during the public hearing of the TPB in August, we are now saddened to learn that the government plans to go ahead with its plans to demolish Pui Oi School. Our plans have not been accepted in any way, and this virtually eliminates any possibility of a Living Museum Complex. We are very saddened by this decision.” said Liz Lau, Vice Chairperson of the Hong Kong Dragon Kiln Concern Group.
According to the Outline Zoning plan, a 42-storey building will be erected only 30-metres away from the Dragon Kiln. The Group is gravely concerned that construction may result in the destruction or even total loss of this one-and-only kiln.
“We welcome the government’s decision to leave the dragon kiln untouched in the plan. But the threat to the kiln has not been alleviated. To have demolition and piling works only metres away means the kiln is still under grave threat,” stated Carmen Tong, a member of the Concern Group. She suggests the authority may be underestimating the potential harm to the kiln. “The exact distance between the construction site to the kiln has never been made explicit. We call on the Town Planning Board to clarify how the 30 metres is calculated, and to provide the precise border of the housing site, as well as the location and footprint of the building, in order to eliminate public concern.”
Last year, the Concern Group proposed to combine the former Pui Oi School site and the dragon kiln into a Ceramic Community Centre to create a cultural landmark for the ever-increasing population in Tuen Mun, a proposal that has been largely ignored by the government. “It is regretful that the government has persisted in their plans despite the fact that a better proposal has been put on the table,” said Tam Chun-Yin, a Tuen Mun District Councillor, who supports the Group’s proposal to preserve the kiln site into a Living Museum and revitalize the school building into a Ceramic Cultural Centre. “Even if the government’s goes ahead with its plans, it should actively reach out to the Concern Group to discuss the possibility of carrying out some of their suggestions, in order to bring some artistic and cultural atmosphere to our district.”
“The government has yet to provide a detailed assessment of how demolition and construction may affect the kiln. To allay the public’s fears, the Government should consult with ceramic kiln experts on the potential risk of nearby construction,” said Clarisse Yeung Suet Ying, who is also Vice Chairperson of the Hong Kong Dragon Kiln Concern Group. “We cannot allow the Government to sacrifice such a valuable cultural heritage. The Government must clarify which department is responsible for the protection of the kiln, as well as what protective methods and measures will be carried out. Who will be held responsible in case of any damage?” she continued.
Finally, the Concern Group called on the government to take a leading role in the conservation of the Dragon Kiln.
“The idea of a Living Museum at the Castle Peak Dragon Kiln was initiated by the government more than 30 years ago,” said Liz Lau. “It is time the government recognized the kiln’s important historical and cultural value, and take the lead in its conservation. Our dream is to see the kiln revitalized and made available to the Hong Kong people.”