Condominium owners strive to protect Guia Lighthouse view ‘for future generations’
Macau Post Daily 24 August 2007
Six condominium owners associations and a neighbourhood association urged the government yesterday to protect the view of the world-heritage protected Guia Lighthouse for future generations by further lowering building project’s maximum height limits around Guia Hill.
Representatives of the six associations and a neighbourhood association held a press conference to make the appeal. The six associations represent dwellers of residential estates near Guia Hill. The neighbourhood association represents residents living in an area comprising Rua do Campo, Avenida Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida and Rua da Mitra.
The representatives called on the government to further lower the maximum height of the future headquarters of the Liaison Office of the People’s Central Government in Macau, as well as the height of a high-rise residential block under construction near the headquarters of the Macau Monetary Authority in order to protect the view of the Guia Lighthouse.
Yuen Wai Tong, a senior member of the neighbourhood association, told the press conference he felt “very helpless” about the matter, adding he did not know how he could face his family’s future generations if the view of the Guia Lighthouse would “really be blocked” by high-rise buildings in the area.
“Although we handed a petition to the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau and Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah, we couldn’t save the view of the Guia Lighthouse,” Mr. Yuen said.
A resident, surnamed Sitou, said during the press conference that he could not understand why Macau’s pre-1999 colonial Portuguese administration protected the view of the Guia Lighthouse while the current government failed to “protect our valuable memories and our historical buildings. I don’t know why?”
Chan Su Weng, vice-chairman of the Association for the Protection of Macau’s Historical and Cultural Heritage, told the press conference, said the activists were planning to launch an Internet-based signature campaign to protect the view of the Guia Lighthouse. He urged the government to “assume its responsibilities” by making sure that the view of the lighthouse will unaffected by urban development.
Last month, the director of the Liaison Office, Bai Zhijian, announced that the height of the future headquarters in Zape would be lowered from the originally planned 99.12 metres to 88 meters. Mr. Bai said the decision to lower the height of the building was made in response on residents’ opinions on the matter.
While Guia Hill has a height of 90 metres, the Guia Lighthouse has a height of 15 metres. The government said in June that all new building projects near Guia Hill would not be allowed to exceed 90 metres. Disgraced secretary for transport and public works Ao Man Long, who is in jail awaiting a trial on graft charges, reportedly lifted all height restrictions around Guia Hill several years ago.
The Guia Lighthouse is said to be the oldest Western-style lighthouse in the southern Chinese coast. It was built in 1864-65.