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Legislative Council Question 8 : "Wan Chai Development Phase II" by the Hon Martin Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council

Following is a question by the Hon Martin Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (May 16):

Question:

The Government is conducting a comprehensive planning and engineering review on the Wan Chai Development Phase II ("WDII"), and has commissioned consultants to conduct the "Harbour-front Enhancement Review - Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Adjoining Areas", with a view to enhancing public engagement in the process of the review. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will plan to provide a promenade within the WDII area adjoining the waterfront promenade in Central and Sheung Wan, so that more people can enjoy the view of Victoria Harbour on the waterfront;

(b) when the preparation of the Recommended Outline Development Plan and amendments to the relevant Outline Zoning Plans is expected to be completed, of the future land use of the waterfront sites within the WDII area, and whether public consultation will be conducted on the modified proposals; and

(c) whether, in planning the WDII project, it will strictly adhere to the Urban Design Guidelines in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (including the guidelines on the waterfront sites, public realm, view corridors and air ventilation), provide more public space, and impose height restrictions on the buildings to be constructed (if such construction is necessary); if such restrictions are to be imposed, of their details?

Reply:

Madam President,

While the Government is conducting a comprehensive planning and engineering review on the Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII), we have invited the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee (HEC) to conduct a public engagement programme entitled "Harbour-front Enhancement Review - Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Adjoining Areas" (HER). The Envisioning Stage and Realisation Stage of the HER have been completed, and the Detailed Planning Stage is underway.

My reply to the three-part question is as follows:

(a) Under the HER project, a waterfront promenade is proposed to be provided along the new coastline to link the Central harbour-front with areas at Oil Street in North Point forming a continuous green waterfront promenade along the northern shore of the Hong Kong Island for public enjoyment.

(b) The Recommended Outline Development Plan (RODP) for WDII and the proposed amendments to the relevant Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs) were completed and submitted to the Town Planning Board (TPB) for consideration in April 2007. The TPB agreed with our plan to conduct consultation on the proposals. The Government's pledge is manifested in the RODP and the proposed amendments to the relevant OZPs such that all land formed incidental to the construction of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass under WDII will be dedicated for harbour-front enhancement after meeting specific infrastructural needs. We shall consult the Legislative Council Panel on Planning, Lands and Works, the HEC and the four District Councils of the Hong Kong Island in May and June 2007. The TPB will, before endorsing the relevant amendments, take the views so collected into account.

(c) The development proposals for WDII have been drawn up in accordance with the Urban Design Guidelines of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines as well as the relevant Harbour Planning Principles. The whole new waterfront will be mainly used as "open space". All new structures to be erected on the waterfront will be low-rise and low-density buildings. According to the RODP and the proposed amendments to the relevant OZPs, all such buildings are subject to height restrictions of 10 metres to 50 metres above principal datum. As the heights of such low-rise buildings will decrease progressively towards the waterfront, there will be no adverse impacts on the harbour view and the air ventilation in the area.

Ends/Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Issued at HKT 14:22

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