Li Po Chun United World College

Ma On Shan, New Territories

S16 Minor Relaxation for Proposed Scholl Extension & S17 Review Application

In 2019 Masterplan Limited was engaged by Li Po Chun United World College (UWC), where the school wanted to build an expansion to their Peace Education Centre. As the initial design of 52mPD which is taller than the building height restriction of 42mPD listed in the OZP, it required a S16 planning application for minor relaxation of building heights restriction. 

On 14 January 2020 the Rural and New Town Planning Committee on 26 May 2020 rejected the application on grounds that "the applicant fails to demonstrate planning and design merits for the proposed minor relaxation"...and "fails to demonstrate that the proposed school extension development would not result in adverse geotechnical impact". 

A review of the decision has been requested under Section 17 of the Town Planning Ordinance. The Review Statement established that the proposed development will not result in adverse geotechnical impact on the site and its surrounding areas, reemphasised the planning and design merits for the adjusted Proposed Scheme, and addressed questions raised by TPB members during the meeting of decision.

Masterplan had actively worked with the Client and Architects team in preparing a persuasive set of presentation which was presented at the TPB hearing on 27 November 2020. Masterplan had carefully curated a narrative which informed the TPB members  of the school's background, the work the school has done for peace, sustainability and community, justificaations of why the proposed design is the optimised proposal, and why alternate locations are not appropriate, Unfortunately after 3 hours of hearing, it was rejected by the board for the reason “fail to provide strong justifications and demonstrate planning and design merits”.

It was then understood that the proposed building would have to be revised to better provide public benefits to justify to the TPB for minor relaxation of BHR., or to meet the building height restriction imposed on the OZP.