Chui pledges solution to Guia Lighthouse row
Macau Post Daily 31-01-2007
Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Fernando Chui Sai On pledged yesterday the government’s commitment to finding a “quick solution to questions linked to construction projects at the foot of Guia Hill through a mechanism of close cooperation between the Cultural Affairs Bureau (ICM) and the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT).
Mr. Chui made the promise in a statement released through the Government Information Bureau (GCS) last night.
According to the statement, the government intends to issue a “special guideline” concerning the possible adjustment of the height of buildings that are already under construction, or whose start of construction is about to begin, on Avenida do Doutor Rodrigo Rodrigues in Zape in order to strengthen Macau’s world-heritage protection framework.
In the statement, Mr. Chui also expressed his “deep gratitude” for the recent decision of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Macau to lower the height of its new headquarters construction project in Zape so that the building will not be higher than Guia Hill, which has a height of 90 metres.
Mr. Chui reaffirmed the government’s commitment to pay attention to citizens’ opinions and views, “in particular those that recently referred to the protection of Macau’s world heritage.”
In the wake of a public outcry, the Liaison Office pledged earlier this week that it would reduce the height of its new headquarters to ensure that the building will not be higher than Guia Hill. Originally, the new headquarters was planned to have a height of 99.9 metre in commemoration of Macau’s return to the motherland on December 19, 1999.
The world-heritage protected Guia Lighthouse, which has a height of about 15 metres, stands on top of Guia Hill. One of three high-rise building projects at the foot of the hill is reportedly planned to be 135 metre high. Scores of residents have complained that the three buildings would block the view of, and view from, the lighthouse that was built in the mid-19th century.
Meanwhile, according to one of its members, the recently established League of Guia Lighthouse Protectors plans to hold a special meeting on Sunday to discuss its “next steps” to protect the landmark’s view, such petitioning the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris and the National Administration of Cultural Heritage in Beijing to protect the lighthouse, inviting experts from the UNESCO to “scrutinize” the plight of Macau’s world heritage sites and monuments, and proposing amendments to regulations on height restrictions in Macau.