Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (November 30):
Early this month, the Government launched the Stage 2 Public Participation Programme for the Kai Tak Planning Review and prepared three draft Outline Concept Plans ("OCPs") to facilitate the public to put forth their views. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) given that the Government had conducted the Development Statement Study concerned in as early as 1993 and various opinions and suggestions had been collected since then, of the reasons for preparing only three OCPs for consideration by the public and allowing only two months for public consultation;
(b) why the cultural and heritage features of the district have not been emphasized in the three OCPs; and
(c) where the public object to the three OCPs or submit new planning proposals, whether it will launch a comprehensive planning exercise and public consultation afresh?
In light of the judgment handed down by the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) in January 2004, which interpreted the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance and ruled that any reclamation project within the Harbour must meet the "overriding public need" test, we have reviewed the reclamation projects with the Victoria Harbour. We have also joined hands with the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee to use a new model to engage the public in reviewing the ways to enhance these reclamation areas. The public engagement programme is broadly divided into three stages: Stage 1 engages the public in concept formulation and envisioning; Stage 2 engages the public in consensus building of preliminary developments, and formulating draft outline concept plans (OCPs); and Stage 3 engages the public in formulating preliminary development plan, which will provide input to the detailed planning in the future to facilitate implementation of the developments in accordance with statutory process. The Kai Tak Planning Review is one of the projects being carried out according to the above model of public engagement.
As regards the three-part question, my reply is as follows:
(a) The Government started planning for the future development of the Kai Tak Airport site in the early 1990s. The Government completed the Comprehensive Feasibility Study for the Revised Scheme of South East Kowloon Development in 2001. The Study proposes a total development area of 460 hectares, including about 133 hectares of reclaimed land. The relevant proposals were incorporated into the statutory Kai Tak (South) and Kai Tak (North) Outline Zoning Plans in mid-2001, which were approved by the Chief Executive in Council in June 2002.
In light of CFA's judgment in January 2004, we launched a comprehensive planning and engineering review of the project in mid-2004 and launched the Stage 1 Public Participation Programme in late 2004.
Public engagement in the Kai Tak Planning Review is an on-going process. Although the consultation for the current Stage 2 Public Participation Programme will last only two months, the three OCPs drawn up for public consultation are based on the valuable views and suggestions collected during the public engagement activities in Stage 1. Views collected during the Stage 2 exercise will also serve as input for the preparation of a Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP) in Stage 3. Public opinion is therefore always taken into account in various stages of the Kai Tak Planning Review.
(b) One of the major considerations in formulating the OCPs is to preserve and pay tribute to the history of Kai Tak Airport and Kowloon City District. All three OCPs seek to highlight the aviation history of Kai Tak by bringing into play the "Kai Tak Promenade/Boulevard" Concept. For instance, in OCP1, Kai Tak Boulevard, with distinctive historical features designed to remind the public of the former airport runway, is aligned next to the Kai Tak Approach Channel. In OCP2 and OCP3, the 50m wide waterfront promenade, designed with historical collections of Kai Tak, seeks to preserve the unique cultural characteristics of the runway. In addition, all three OCPs propose to incorporate a runway park with facilities of an aviation theme at the tip of the runway and a new Sung Wong Toi Park next to the Olympic Avenue to remind the public of the Sung Wong Toi historical site. Further studies will be conducted to see how these concepts correlate with other heritage sites in Kowloon City.
(c) The three OCPs serve to facilitate public comments. They are not intended to be options from which the public may choose the one they prefer. When preparing the PODP, we will take into account public comments on the various features and concepts of the three OCPs as well as any other relevant views. Then, we will embark on the Stage 3 Public Participation Programme and join hands with the public in taking forward the Kai Tak development plan.
Ends/Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Issued at HKT 12:39