Following is a question by the Hon Miriam Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (February 18):
In the light of the judgment delivered by the Court of Final Appeal on January 9 this year regarding the Wan Chai North Reclamation Scheme, would the Government inform this Council whether:
(a) it will shelve the various reclamation projects under planning; if so, of the details of such projects; and
(b) it will revise the South East Kowloon Development project and the reprovisioning arrangements for Kwun Tong Public Cargo Working Area and the typhoon shelters in Southeast Kowloon; if so, of the details of such revisions; if not, the reasons for that?
(a) The present Central Reclamation Phase III ("CRIII") and the proposed Wan Chai North and South East Kowloon reclamations are the only remaining reclamation projects in the Harbour. The judicial proceedings of the CRIII judicial review are still underway. We will continue to suspend the marine piling and reclamation works originally programmed to be carried out under the CRIII project until the legal proceedings have taken their course. As for Wan Chai, the Town Planning Board took the initiative in late October 2003 to request the Government to conduct a comprehensive review of the Wan Chai North reclamation. We will conduct such a review expeditiously in accordance with the law with a view to meeting essential needs for transport infrastructure. We will review the South East Kowloon reclamation in an equally vigilant and cautious manner to ensure that the project will meet the single test of "overriding public need" laid down by the Court of Final Appeal ("CFA"). Currently, the design work of the proposed reclamation works under the South East Kowloon Development ("SEKD") project has been suspended. This includes the reclamations at Kowloon Bay, Kai Tak Approach Channel and Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter.
(b) As mentioned in (a) above, the Government will review the South East Kowloon reclamations in a vigilant and cautious manner to ensure that they will meet the single test of "overriding public need" laid down by the CFA. The review of the SEKD project takes time. During the process, we will conduct extensive public consultation. If needed, we will revise the relevant outline zoning plans. The Government will consider the reprovisioning arrangements for the Kwun Tong Public Cargo Working Area and the typhoon shelters in South East Kowloon on the basis of the review results.
Ends/Wednesday, February 18, 2004