Walk in Hong Kong lodges submission on Bishop Hill service reservoir grading

Press Release

The Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) resolved unanimously in its regular meeting in March to grant Grade 1 historic building status to the Bishop Hill (Mission Hill) and Yau Ma Tei service reservoirs. Local cultural tourism enterprise Walk in Hong Kong today (April 13) lodged a written submission expressing its concern over the Bishop Hill service reservoir’s future with the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO).

Walk in Hong Kong agrees to AAB’s decision to list Bishop Hill service reservoir as a Grade 1 historic building. However, it is noted that the notion of “group value” in the heritage appraisal submitted to the AAB by AMO is too narrow and outdated. Rather than grouping it with other waterworks heritage associated with the Kowloon Waterworks Gravitation Scheme (some of which being Declared Monuments), the appraisal instead focused on non-waterworks-related historic buildings adjacent to Bishop Hill.

For the conservation of the service reservoir, Walk in Hong Kong call upon the authorities to start engaging local residents as soon as possible, and pay attention to the social fabric of the community. Given the separation of the heritage site from the built-up area in the surroundings, it is unlikely that any attempt of conserving it through the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme (“R-Scheme”) would bear fruit. For many years Bishop Hill existed as a highly organic community space, and efforts should be made to think of ways that respect and contribute to the tight connection between the heritage site and the local community.

The consultation period of the proposed grading will last until this Thursday (15th April). Walk in Hong Kong encourages those who care about the upcoming conservation of the service reservoir to make their views heard by the AAB, through lodging submissions with the AMO by the deadline. Details of the consultation exercise could be found on the AAB website (https://www.aab.gov.hk/en/news_20210315.php). One may also refer to the Bishop Hill Service Reservoir Heritage Assessment for details.

Full text of the submission (in Chinese only)



前深水埗配水庫因為水務署的工程遭受破壞,卻因此令埋在地下的百年古蹟重見天日。活現香港(Walk in Hong Kong)早前聯同一眾保育人士、專家及學者編纂了《地水重光 — 主教山配水庫文物價值評估報告》,展現了民間集思廣益的力量,讓公眾對主教山配水庫的文物價值有所參考。這份民間報告確立配水庫有極高的文物價值,並理應列為法定古蹟。