Reduces Niches by over 30% and Adopts Leading-edge Traffic and Crowd Control Measures
2015-11-23 Hong Kong
Kerry Warehouse today resubmitted an application to the Town Planning Board regarding the proposal for the Island Memorial Centre (IMC) in Chai Wan. Kerry Warehouse has amended its application in response to the local community’s concerns and views, including the reduction of capacity by more than 30% from 120,000 to 82,000 niches; introduction of a strict “triple access control” system, as well as beautification measures, all in an effort to minimize potential impact on residents and the surrounding area.
In the latest planning application to the Town Planning Board, the capacity of IMC has been reduced by more than 30% from 120,000 to 82,000 niches. Using smart technology, IMC will also implement a “triple access control” system, whereby admission will be by appointment only and restricted to visitors who have pre-registered. During Ching Ming and Chung Yeung festivals, IMC will effectively adjust the limit on the number to the facility, with only those who have pre-registered allowed admission to maintain a peaceful ambience.
Regarding transport links, free shuttle bus services will be provided between the columbarium and the MTR stations in Heng Fa Chuen and Quarry Bay. Drop-off and pick-up points will be at dedicated bays within the building premises, keeping any additional load on the surrounding traffic networks to a minimum.
“IMC aims to be Hong Kong’s most modern and best-managed private columbarium. The proposed site for the IMC is away from residential estates, making it ideal for a columbarium. When completed, the facility will help alleviate the shortage of urn niches, while raising the quality of local columbaria and setting new standards for the industry. IMC is a project for Hong Kong, the community and all of us living in the city,” said spokesperson of Kerry Warehouse.
During July and August, Kerry Warehouse commissioned the Hong Kong Shue Yan University to conduct an independent public opinion survey of 1,090 residents in the project neighborhood of Chai Wan and Heng Fa Chuen to gauge local sentiment. Of those surveyed, 62.4% of respondents did not object to the proposal to convert an existing warehouse in Chai Wan’s industrial area into a private columbarium, among these 40.8% indicated acceptance of the project, while 20.2% indicated ambivalence and 1.4% had no comment. Even though 37.6% of respondents objected to the project, they indicated a willingness to accept the proposal given appropriate remedial measures, such as a reduction in the proposed number of niches.
Having listened to the views and concern of the local community and stakeholders, Kerry Warehouse has revised the IMC plan to address local community needs and concerns.
IMC will adopt state-of-the-art technology to ensure that no harmful substances would be dispersed into the ambient environment, thereby minimizing possible environmental nuisance. The burning of incense, joss sticks and paper offerings would only be permitted within the facility on the day of the funeral.
An innovative management practice of IMC involves funding day-to-day operations from a sinking fund, which would help maintain urns in IMC for at least 80 years. As part of a corporate social responsibility initiative, IMC will accord priority for Eastern District residents to purchase niches. IMC will also make donation to charities.
IMC will be equipped with ancillary facilities, such as multi-purpose function rooms. Pedestrian crossing facilities and suitable landscape features would be created along the approach to IMC.
The spokesperson of Kerry Warehouse added, “IMC will feature a modern architectural design and excellent operation system, which will set an example in service level and help lift standards in the private columbarium industry.”