Shipyards destroyed after Iyphoon Hato. Courtesy of David Pinto Marques

Macau | Gov’t finishes Lai Chi Vun shipyards listing

Macau (MNA) – The Macau Executive Council announced on Wednesday that it has finished regulations concerning the listing of the Lai Chi Vun shipyards as a cultural and archaeological site of interest.

The regulations will now be published on Official Gazette until December 14 and enforced the day after publication.

The shipyards will then be officially listed as a ‘Site’ or ‘works of man or works combined of man and nature, notable for their relevant cultural interest, including places of archaeological interest’, as defined by the Law for Cultural Heritage Protection.

However, according to the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) Vice-President Leong Wai Man details on the future revitalisation and renewal of the shipyards area will only be provided after a draft plan is conceived by a work group composed by the IC, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and led by the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT).

Although having stated previously hotel businesses would not be allowed in the area, the IC Vice-President stated these details would have to wait for the work group revitalisation plan, adding only that an area to “showcase ship building techniques” was to be part of the future renewal.

When asked if local residents or former workers from the shipyard industry would be consulted for the future revitalisation plan, Ms. Leong stated that residents in the area had already been consulted during the public consultation period.

The Lai Chi Vun shipyards area will be divided into five zones with different protection requirements and with the 17 shipyards divided into different preservation and renovation settings.

Only three shipyards included in Zone 1 will see their existing building structure completely preserved, with the shipyards in Zone 2 and 3 allowing different levels of reconstruction but always with requirements to preserve their architecture or construction elements after revitalisation.

According to Ms. Leong if a shipyard was found in conditions that could pose a threat to public safety it could be demolished.

Zone 4 will cover the mangrove water area up to 40 metres facing the shipyards which also to be preserved, with the IC Vice-President previously claiming that maritime tourism projects, such as a marina, could be allowed if they do not impact the preserved area.

Constructions in Zone 5 will not be allowed to exceed 8.9 metres and should match with the shipyards construction styles and its surroundings, with a caulk factory in that area to be preserved in its totality.

The Lai Chi Vun shipyards listing process started last year after the Lai Chi Vun Life residents association submitted a petition co-signed by 670 people demanded that the IC  initiated the listing process urgently due to the poor state of condition the constructions were in.

A public consultation as held between January 22 and March 22 with the large majority of residents in favor if the listing but with the Cultural Heritage Committee initially opposing the degree of listing they eventually agreed with a second IC listing proposal that divided the shipyards into different preservation areas.