Sat, Mar 05, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Review of Taipei Dome delayed until next month

LESS IS MORE:The head of a civic group calling for the preservation of the site of the project said the revised plan did not adequately reduce the size of the dome

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Members of environmental protection groups hold up signs and protest outside Taipei City Hall yesterday as the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee of the Department of Environmental Protection reviewed a report on the proposed construction of the Taipei Dome.

Photo: Lin Hsiang-mei, Taipei Times

The environmental impact assessment review process for the Taipei Dome construction project was delayed until next month following a four-hour meeting, as several dozen environmental activists and local residents voiced concerns about the proposed complex’s impact on local traffic and the overall environment.

Taipei City’s Environmental Impact Assessment Review Committee has turned down the environmental impact assessment report three times since 2007. The fourth committee meeting held yesterday at the Taipei City Hall failed to finish the review process of the revised project plan after more than half of the 20 committee members left the meeting that was marked by disapproval from environmental activists and local residents.

“The size of the Taipei Dome in the revised plan only shrank 3 percent when compared with the original plan, which makes little difference to the negative impact on traffic and the environment. We want the city government to revoke the contract and stop the development project,” said Yu Yi (游藝), head of a civic group that is calling for the preservation of the factory site, during the committee meeting.

Pan Pei-chun (潘佩君), the parent of a student at Taipei Municipal Guangfu Elementary School, which is next to the proposed site on the corner of Zhongxiao E Road and Guangfu S Road, said many parents at the school were concerned about the noise and pollution that would be caused by the construction.

Trucks going in and out of the construction site could also pose a danger to children, she added.

Farglory chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄), who attended the committee meeting, rejected the protesters’ claim that the building would have a negative impact on the environment and insisted that its revised Taipei Dome project, which lowered the building coverage ratio from 60 percent to 55 percent and offered more pedestrian space, would be an eco-friendly complex that would strike a balance between urban development and environmental protection.

“Building domes in downtown areas is a global trend and stopping the Taipei Dome development project should not be an option. The stalling of the project has become a joke and it’d be unbelievable if the project was denied,” he said while leaving the meeting.

Taipei City’s Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Wu Sheng-chong (吳聖忠) said the department would gather committee members together some time next month to complete the review process.

The proposed complex would include a 40,000-seat indoor stadium with surrounding shopping and residential districts. Construction is scheduled to begin in July if it passes the environmental impact assessment.

The group signed the contract with the city government in 2006 and plans to invest more than NT$23 billion (US$700 million) in the complex. Since then, ongoing protests from environmentalists and local residents have stalled the review process.

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