Macau Post Daily
Govt mulls building height cut to shield lighthouse view: Chui
Secretary for Social Affairs and Cultural Fernando Chui Sai On said yesterday the government wasconsidering to order a decrease in the height of a 126-metre tall residential building project on theslopes of Guia Hill in order to protect the view of the world-heritage listed Guia Lighthouse.
Mr. Chui made the remark upon departure from Macau International Airport for a working visit toBeijing for consultations with officials of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and theNational UNESCO Commission.
The policy secretary said the aim of the consultations was to find a “feasible solution” tolandscaping and environmental issues concerning the Guia Lighthouse.
Mr. Chui insisted that the all of the current high-rise building projects adjacent to Guia Hill wereoutside the government’s world-heritage protection and buffer zones. However, he said the governmentwas doing its best to maintain close coordination with the building developers concerned and stillhoped that the heights of the respective building projects could be adjusted if need be.
Mr. Chui insisted that the government was keen to protect Macau’s world heritage. It [Macau’s worldheritage] is of universal value, and Macau’s world heritage is one of the 31 items on our nation’sworld heritage list. The government is doing its best to comply with the principles guiding theprotection of cultural heritage.”
Mr. Chui added that following consultations in Beijing, he believed that the Guia Lighthouse viewwould be protected.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chui also said the government would consult heritage experts on its heritageprotection amendment bill before consulting the general public on the draft law after the middle ofnext month.
The Guia Lighthouse, which was completed in 1986, is one of the internationally best-known parts ofMacau’s world-heritage protected by UNESCO. Critics maintains that the view of the lighthouse hascome under threat by several high-rise construction projects near the 90-metre high hill.
Macau SAR government last year received a “letter of concern” from the Cultural HeritageConservation UNESCO Office in Beijing and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage about theimpact of high-rise building projects near the hill.
According to UNESCO rules, world-heritage sites deemed “in danger” are those affected by “armedconflict and war, earthquakes and other natural disasters, pollution, poaching, and uncontrolledurbanization and unchecked tourism development.”
Most of the high-rise building projects “threatening” the Guia Lighthouse were reportedly approvedby then secretary for transport and public Ao Man Long, who is standing trial for corruption andmoney laundering.
In direct response to the public concern over the issue, the Liaison Office of the Central People’sGovernment in Macau announced last year it had decided to lower the height of its new headquartersproject in Zape to ensure that it will not affect the Guia Lighthouse view.
The Guia Lighthouse stands about 15 metres tall.