Hysan Tunnels and Footbridges
Hysan Development Company Limited owns a large portfolio of property in Causeway Bay. They wanted to create an integrated basement among 3 of their key buildings (Lee Garden One, Lee Garden Two, and Lee Garden Three) to allow better use distribution of car parking spaces as well as to decrease the traffic at the road level through a reduction of circling and also creating more logical departure options available from the integrated basement. At the same time Hysan wanted to add an additional two footbridges to the area, creating an elevated pedestrian network which connects Lee Garden two, Three and Five in addition to the existing footbridge between Lee Garden one and Two.
Masterplan Limited was Planning Consultant for Hysan to create and implement a strategy of planning applications to develop the 2 footbridges and 2 underground tunnels to connect their buildings across the public roads of Yun Ping Road, Hysan Avenue and Sunning Road.
The creation of a private integrated basement through tunnels, under public roads had not been successfully approved from the TPB previously. The fact that Lee Garden One and Two were already in existence and only Lee Garden Three was under construction also posed limitations on the locations and logistics of the construction.
In addition, during the submission of the two tunnel applications the Hysan Case in the Court of Final Appeal was ongoing, and the Non Building Area (NBA) fronting Yun Ping Road potentially impacted on the tunnel and footbridge proposed across Yun Ping Road. The submission of the application for the footbridge across Yun Ping Road was delayed purposefully to after the decision had been made on the court case. The issues relating to the NBA were resolved and all the applications proceeded and were approved.
The process was relatively long and complex but the strategy established at the beginning of the planning application process was subsequently shown to be effective, and development approval has been achieved for all of the planning applications. The difficulties relating to the NBA and the ongoing court case meant that all of the individual connections were submitted in separate applications due to their different relationship to the NBA.
The better integration of the Hysan buildings in Causeway Bay, provides for better use of the car parking spaces, provides all weather pedestrian access within the 3 buildings, and will reduce the level of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic at grade in the area. Since the submission of this application a number of other developers are trying to get similar tunnels approved, it was previously believed that connecting two privately owned basements under a public road would not be possible.