Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) has proposed the construction of a 21-storey youth hostel on Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan, on the site of an abandoned elementary school next to the historic old Man Mo temple.

The Man Mo temple was built between the years 1847 and 1862 and is a declared monument under the 1976 Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.

A computer-generated image of the completed youth hostel on Hollywood Road. Source: Central & Western Concern Group, via Facebook.

The Central and Western Concern Group has opposed the construction plans in light of potential damage to the 150-year old temple. The group took into consideration the area’s architectural, cultural, spiritual and heritage value with regards to the demolition and construction process. In a Facebook post, they urged their followers to object to the development.

site location plan
Site location plan of the proposed youth hotel. Photo: GovHK.

A member of the group told InMedia that they support the construction of the youth hostel but not at the planned site. The member further said that the architecture of the youth hostel would clash with the design of the temple. The group believes that the abandoned school should be rebuilt into a one-storey cultural education centre and operated in connection with the Man Mo temple.

TWGHs, in its application to the Town Planning Board, referenced a 2011-12 policy address wherein the Chief Executive stated the government’s support for a plan by NGOs to use governmental land to build hostels for youths. The aim was to provide young people with a reasonable housing alternative.

man mo temple
Man Mo temple on Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. The existing abandoned elementary school which is the proposed site on construction of the youth hostel can be seen on the extreme left. Photo: Wikicommons.

The youth hostel will have a heritage bazaar on the ground floor connected to the Man Mo temple compound, with space for conducting social and cultural activities. “Various mitigation measures” will be considered during the construction process to minimise any potential impact to the temple compound.

Additional reporting: Kris Cheng.

Medhavi Arora is in her final year at the University of Hong Kong studying Journalism and International Relations. Her print, video and multimedia pieces have been featured in the Times of India and CNN-IBN. She is a former intern at UN Women and has additional experience in sustainability, international affairs and communications.