A S16 planning application was submitted for the Site. The application had taken into account the TPB Guidelines No. 5, namely “Application for Office Development in Residential (Group A) Zone under Section 16 of the Town Planning Ordinance”. The Guidelines have listed out a number of planning criteria for considering office development in R(A) zone. One of the criteria is related to parking and loading/unloading facilities which the Site could not provide. The S16 application applied for office development at a PR of 15. This PR is substantially less than that of the old building. The GFA of the new scheme is less and therefore the number of trips generated by office workers is less. The TSCB was without any parking and L/UL facilities, but the new development will provide on-site L/UL spaces. As such, the new development will improve the traffic situation of the neighbourhood.
The application was approved with conditions and the proposed Grade A office building is already built. The design of the new office block offers public passageway at the ground floor improving the pedestrian environment which is much needed in the dense Wan Chai area.