11                CULTURAL HERITAGE

11.1          Introduction

11.1.1    This section presents an assessment for cultural heritage impact associated with the Project, identifying marine archaeological resources and assessing potential marine archaeological impacts from the proposed marine activities on these resources, and proposing mitigation measures where required.


11.2          Environmental Legislation and Standards


11.2.1    The following legislation and guidelines are relevant to this study:


·                     Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap. 53)

·                     Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) (Cap. 499, S.16)

·                     Technical Memorandum on the Environmental Impact Assessment Process (EIAO-TM)

·                     Guidance Notes on Assessment of Impact on Sites of Cultural Heritage in Environmental Impact Assessment Studies (GN-CH)

·                     Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG)

·                     Marine Archaeological Investigation Guidelines.

Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap.53)


11.2.2    The Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap. 53) was enacted in 1976 and provides statutory protection against the threat of development for Declared Monuments including historical buildings/structures and archaeological sites on land and underwater, which have been recommended by the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB), approved by the Chief Executive and gazetted to enable their preservation for posterity.


11.2.3    Certain Deemed Monuments have been identified by the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) and agreement reached with the owners of the Monuments to ensure their preservation.  Deemed monuments have the potential to be upgraded to statutory Declared Monuments.


11.2.4    For archaeological sites, all relics dated prior to A.D. 1800 belong to the Hong Kong Government under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance. A number of known archaeological sites are recorded by the AMO and the Office should be consulted of any development in these sites. Once identified as having the potential for conservation, archaeological sites are entered into the record.



11.2.5    The EIAO provides additional legislative protection to sites of cultural heritage that are threatened by development and the Environmental Protection Department is its authority.  Annexes 10 and 19 of the EIAO-TM outline the guidelines and criteria for the CHIA.  The GN-CH serves as a reference to assist the understanding of the requirements set out in Section 2 of Annex 10 and Annex 19 of the EIAO-TM under the EIAO in assessing impact on sites of cultural heritage in EIA studies.

Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines


11.2.6    Chapter 10 of the HKPSG provides general guidelines and measures for the conservation of historical buildings, archaeological sites and other antiquities.


AMO Guidelines for Marine Archaeological Investigation


11.2.7    The AMO have issued Guidelines for Marine Archaeological Investigation (MAI) which details the standard practice, procedures and methodology which must be undertaken in determining the marine archaeological potential, presence of archaeological artefacts and defining suitable mitigation measures.   


11.3          Assessment Methodology


11.3.1    In accordance with the requirements set out in Section 3.4.13 of the EIA Study Brief No. ESB-153/2006, the relevant requirements in the EIAO-TM and guideline issued by the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO), a Marine Archaeological Investigation (MAI) was conducted for this Project.  Details of the MAI are present in Appendix 11.1.  The key findings and recommendations are presented in the sections below.  

11.3.2    A survey of historical buildings and structures within the Project Area have been carried by the Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) in February 2001 and approved in pervious WDIICFS EIA report.  A new historical building and structure found in between 2001 and 2007 is not expected.  For the North Point Area, the works areas where mainly located at the new reclamation area and no historical buildings nearby.  Therefore, the findings in the pervious approved EIA report are still valid and assessment for the building heritage is not required.


11.4          Baseline Conditions


11.4.1    As identified in the approved EIA report, an archaeological site namely Kellett Island Archaeological Site is located at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC). Since the Trunk Road of the current design will pass beneath the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in tunnel (more than 20m below ground), potential impact of the Kellett Island Archaeological Site is not expected. A desktop review of relevant available marine archaeological information and relevant geophysical data within the Project area was conducted by a qualified marine archaeologist.  The results of the review are presented below. 

Review of Report NO: SDA8827

11.4.2    In May 2001 the AMO commissioned SDA Marine Ltd to undertake a MAI for Wanchai Reclamation Phase II. In accordance with AMO Guidelines the MAI comprised: Baseline Review, Geophysical Survey and Underwater Inspection. 

11.4.3    The study area exactly replicated the current study area with the exception of a small section at North Point adjacent to the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter.  It can therefore be assumed that the results of the previous study are directly applicable to the current project.

11.4.4    The Baseline Review indicated a high marine archaeological potential as the study area has always been at the centre of development and industry within Victoria Harbour.  However, the marine archaeological potential is diminished by the existing reclamation and associated disturbance on the seabed.

11.4.5    The geophysical survey deployed: echo sounder, seismic profiler and side scan sonar.  The survey was commissioned to meet the needs of the MAI and therefore the methodology was designed to enhance acquisition of archaeological data. 

11.4.6    The survey provided 200% coverage of the seabed and subsurface sediments.  Nine anomalies were identified in the survey data. A diver inspection was carried out to obtain accurate information about their archaeological potential.  Each anomaly was successfully located and examined by a diver.  There were two modern shipwrecks, four pieces of metal construction material, two large concrete blocks and a small metal container.

11.4.7    It was concluded that there were no archaeological resources within the study area and no need for any mitigation measures or constraints on the proposed development.

Baseline Review


11.4.8    The Baseline Review did not find any specific references to the presence of shipwrecks in the study area.  However, as North Point is within one of the busiest sections of Victoria Harbour it will have been at the centre of maritime activity in Hong Kong since the city was established.  The combined effects of piracy and typhoons would have increased the likelihood of shipwrecks.  This is diminished by the extensive development and engineering works in the study area which will have served to disturb or destroy archaeological remains.

11.5          Geophysical Survey

11.5.1    The baseline review indicates high archaeological potential for the North Point study area that was not covered in the MAI in 2001 (Report No. SDA8827). In accordance with AMO Guidelines a geophysical survey for the North Point study area was undertaken. The survey aim was to locate any possible marine archaeological resources on the seabed at North Point study area (Figure 2 of Appendix 11.1).

11.5.2    Detailed examination of the geophysical survey data enabled accurate assessment of the seabed within the study area.  The area is characterised by extensive disturbance as evidence by trawl marks and a very significant amount of modern dumped material. This is compatible with its location within one of the busiest sections of Victoria Harbour and adjacent to existing reclamation and engineering works. These activities would have a negative impact on the seabed thereby reducing its archaeological potential. The mound of debris on the foreshore shown in Figure 4 of Appendix 11.1 is very likely to be the same type of material that was identified in the survey data. 

11.5.3    There is one large non-natural feature on the seabed (SC012) which has significant dimensions (6.3 x 1.2x 0.3m) and it has clearly defined linear shape.  The fact that it remains so intact leads to the conclusion that it is a small modern motorised work boat. In the context of the A.M. Ordinance (Cap. 53), the site is not an antiquity or relic. It would be impossible for a historic wreck to have such a cohesive structure after extensive exposure in such a dynamic underwater environment. 

11.5.4    It is therefore concluded that there are no archaeological resources within the study area.

11.6          Mitigation of Adverse Impacts

11.6.1    Since there is no archaeological material present within the study area, there is no need for any further archaeological investigation or mitigation measures.

11.7          Residual Environmental Impact

11.7.1    No residual cultural heritage impact is expected.


11.8          Environmental Monitoring and Audit Requirements

11.8.1    There is no monitoring and audit requirement for the marine archaeology.


11.9          Conclusion

11.9.1    A Marine Archaeological Investigation has been carried out for the seabed that will be affected by the reclamation required by the Project. The aim of the investigation was to locate and assess underwater archaeological resources which may be damaged by the dredging and reclamation. In accordance with AMO Guidelines, the MAI consisted of a Baseline Review and Geophysical Survey. 

11.9.2    The results of the MAI in 2001 (Report No. SDA8827) are applicable to the current study since they cover the same seabed area, with the exception of North Point.  There have not been any significant changes to the seabed since 2001 which would have affected its archaeological potential. According to the MAI in 2001, it was concluded there were no archaeological resources within the study area of Wan Chai.

11.9.3    The baseline review indicates high archaeological potential for the North Point study area.  To ensure compliance with AMO Guidelines for MAI, it is therefore necessary to carry out a geophysical survey for this area. 

11.9.4    The geophysical survey provided very detailed information about features on the seabed.  Within the study area, the seabed is characterised by the presence of dumped materials, trawl marks, scars and other evidence of previous disturbance. The geophysical survey located one significant sonar contact but its intact linear shape indicated it was a shipwreck of modern origin.  There were no other sonar contacts which merited further investigation. 

11.9.5    It is therefore concluded that there are no marine archaeological resources within the study area. It follows that there are no related constraints on the proposed development.  There is no need for any further archaeological investigation or mitigation measures.