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Heiress in Hong Kong wins right to demolish one of city’s last colonial-era houses

Ho Tung Gardens was completed by Sir Robert Ho Tung in 1927 and has stood on the luxurious residential estate of The Peak ever since. Also recognised by its Cantonese name Hiu Kok Yuen, the property it has previously been declared a Grade I historic site by the Antiquities Advisory Board and became a ‘proposed historical monument’ by the Government of Hong Kong in 2011.

The current owner of the site, Ho’s granddaughter Ho Min-kwan, has now won a court battle to demolish the residence in order to use the land to construct a series of cottages. South China Morning Post reported: “The Government admitted a policy failure yesterday [3 December] as it decided to give up on a plan to save the historic Ho Tung Gardens on The Peak, which is held by an owner who refuses to co-operate.

“The secretary for development, Paul Chan Mo-po, announced the Ho Tung Gardens decision, made by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying with the Executive Council. He said the abandonment of the plan to declare the mansion and private park a monument came down to money. ‘We understand that not everyone would agree with spending billions of dollars of public money on private heritage sites,’ Chan said.”

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