30years

 

Support Christian Action’s Stay at New Horizons Building:

Submit Representation to Town Planning Board

 

For over 30 years, the New Horizons Building (NHB) has been Christian Action’s base to provide vital services for Hong Kong’s disadvantaged communities. The site, now an important social service and training centre in Kowloon Bay, is subject to the Government’s redevelopment plans in Kowloon East. On behalf of Christian Action (CA), we hereby seek your support to help us appeal to Town Planning Board for CA’s stay at this building, so that we can continue to sustain the community welfare within the same district.

The Town Planning Board is now accepting public comments on the Outline Zoning Plan (No. S/K13/29) until 13 June 2017. Under the draft plan, the rezoning of NHB is included in Items A and B, where public housing and a secondary school, respectively, are proposed to be built in replacement of the site along Wang Chiu Road. We hereby seek your support to appeal for CA to stay at NHB and continue providing services for the community by submitting a representation to the Town Planning Board through one of the following four options:

 

I. Complete and send the representation appeal template to Christian Action before 31 May 2017 or to The Town Planning Board before 13 June 2017*

 

II. Fill in your own comments in the blank representation appeal and send completed form to Christian Action before 31 May 2017 or to the Town Planning Board before 13 June 2017*

 

III. Submit an online representation (Plan No. S/K13/29) through the Town Planning Board’s website before 13 June 2017 (Please specify: OPPOSED TO ITEMS A & B of the plan)

 

*To mail to Christian Action, please use the return postage on the second page of the form. Contacts of the Town Planning Board are included on the first page.

We hope you can consider our appeal based on the following reasons:

 1. Zoned as an "O" Site (Open Site) the NHB has been leased to CA since 1982 on a temporary basis, where the tenancy at the site has been consistently renewed by the government. Since CA received a verbal notice from the government about our lease in 2014, we have been liaising with relevant departments and bureaux to find a solution to house our social services, but have yet found an appropriate solution from the government.

2. The lease of NHB was recently extended by Labour and Welfare Bureau until 30 June 2018. According to the plans discussed in the Metro Planning Committee of the Town Planning Board on 17 March 2017, NHB is included in the second phase of this plan for the development of public housing and a secondary school. CA will need to move by 2019 and the site will be demolished as early as 2020. While we fully recognise the government’s needs in developing public housing and a premise for education, we urge the government to fulfill the social service needs within the district.

 3. NHB houses a range of social services to benefit the communities, such as youth from low-income families, children and women, new arrivals, unemployed individuals and ethnic minorities, from the districts of Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin and Kowloon City. As a headquarter, NHB acts as a pillar for the coordination of CA’s 20 social service and training centres and 5 second-hand community sales outlets across Kowloon and New Territories, where we have served over 1 million attendances in the past 30 years. Among the districts we serve, Kwun Tong is the 2nd poorest district in Hong Kong and has been earmarked for further housing development through 13 plots of land. The demolition of NHB would therefore not only cause a disruption to CA’s services for its service users from the communities nearby; it may pose a further impact to the social welfare, leading to more issues such as rising unemployment in the grassroots communities in Hong Kong. With the influx of new residents from the proposed housing development in Kwun Tong, the demand for social services to fill the already widened gap will be even greater.

 4. On 10 January 2017, CA has submitted over 1,100 appeal letters collected from members of the public, service users, and residents, to the Kwun Tong District Council. This motion has received positive responses from majority of the members within the council. Thus far, CA’s appeal to stay at NHB has received support by District Councillors, Legislative Council members, local concern group from the Richland Gardens, as well as members of the general public, especially those from Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin, and Kowloon City. We hope to receive the same level of support from the public towards our appeal to the Town Planning Board.

 Christian Action

11 May 2017

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