2016-09-12 Hong Kong
Kerry Warehouse today submitted a supplementary document to the Town Planning Board in relation to the proposal for the Island Memorial Centre (IMC) in Chai Wan. The document details three confirmed community measures that reflect the views and concerns of the local community. First, 10,000 niches priced at a 30% discount will be reserved for residents within 1km of IMC. Second, 10% of profits before tax will go towards community and charity groups, with half of the sum allocated to community services in the neighborhood. Third, free scheduled ferries to and from IMC will be provided during Ching Ming and Chung Yeung Festivals to reduce road traffic around the centre.
Besides the three new community measures, IMC will be the first columbarium in Hong Kong to benefit from a sinking fund. The fund will be supported by 10% of the sales proceeds, which will ensure quality management of the facility for at least 80 years.
The decision to reserve 10,000 niches priced at a 30% discount for residents within 1km of IMC is a confirmation of IMC’s earlier pledge to offer Eastern District residents priority to purchase niches. This arrangement applies to residents of Island Resort, Heng Fa Chuen, Harmony Garden, Siu Sai Wan Estate and other housing estates in the area near IMC.
Further, as a socially-responsible columbarium that is set up to serve the community, IMC will devote 10% of its profits before tax towards community and charity groups, with half of the sum allocated to services in the local neighborhood. A management committee comprised of the operator, Eastern District councilors and local residents will be formed to supervise the charitable fund for community services in the neighbourhood. And to reduce traffic around the centre, a free shuttle bus service will run between IMC and Heng Fa Chuen and Quarry Bay MTR stations during Ching Ming and Chung Yeung Festivals, while a free scheduled ferry service from Central Pier to IMC will be provided.
In bid to minimise the potential impact on local residents and the surrounding area IMC has earlier decided to substantially reduce the number of niches by more than 30% from 120,000 to 82,000. Similarly, by implementing a strict “triple-access control” system, admission will be restricted to visitors who have pre-registered and booked appointments for their visits. The end-to-end access control system will organise most visitor arrivals via pre-arranged transport, thereby effectively managing visitor flow from key access points. In this regard, IMC will work with nearby pier to coordinate the ferry schedule a month in advance of service dates. Peak hours in Ka Yip Street will be also taken into account to restrict the number of visitors, keeping any additional load on the surrounding traffic network to a minimum. IMC is happy to establish a Transport Committee comprising District Council members, local residents and community representatives to monitor the traffic situation and address the views of local residents.
And to minimise any possible environmental nuisance, IMC will adopt state-of-the-art technology to ensure that no harmful substances would be dispersed into the environment, and the burning of paper offerings would only be permitted within the facility on the day of inurnment.
Taken as a whole, these measures will effectively regulate the number of visitors so as to maintain a peaceful ambience around IMC and minimise potential impact on the local community.
“Having listened to views and concerns of the local community and stakeholders, Kerry Warehouse has responded positively by making thoughtful revisions to the IMC plan focusing on community measures. IMC will be Hong Kong’s best-managed modern private columbarium. When completed, the facility will help alleviate the shortage of urn niches, while enhancing the quality of local columbaria and setting new standards for the industry,” said spokesperson of Kerry Warehouse.