Legislative Council Question 6 : "Military Dock" by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council
Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (June 6):
It has been learnt that the overall planning concept of the Central Reclamation Phase III project is to provide leisure facilities for the public along the waterfront promenade in Central, and to enable the public to enjoy the view of the Victoria Harbour. Some 150 metres of the waterfront have been reserved in the area of the project for the construction of a military dock for naval vessels of the Hong Kong Garrison of the People's Liberation Army ("PLA"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
(a) it has studied the compatibility of such a military facility with the overall planning concept of the above project; if it has, of the results of the study;
(b) the use of the facilities along the above waterfront promenade by the public in the future have to give way to the operation of the military dock, and whether the view of the Harbour will be blocked by structures of the military dock; if the view will be blocked, of the building height restriction for the site; whether the periphery of the military dock will be designated as a closed area; if so, whether the closed area will impede the use of facilities along the waterfront promenade by the public; and
(c) it will consider discussing with the PLA afresh the future location of the dock?
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has to leave free 150m of the eventual permanent waterfront in the plans for the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation at a place close to the Central Barracks for the construction of a military dock in compliance with the Defence Land Agreement signed between the governments of the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom in 1994. In July 1994, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council was briefed on the Agreement by the then Hong Kong Government.
My reply to the three-part question is as follows:
(a) The military dock, which falls within the scope of the Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) project, is part and parcel of the Sino-British Defence Land Agreement. According to our planning intention, the section of 150m waterfront will be open for public use as part of the Central waterfront promenade when it is not required for military use. The Planning Department is conducting the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront, which covers, inter alia, how to suitably integrate this planning intention.
(b) The military dock will be put into operation only when it is in military use. It will be open for public use at other times as part of the waterfront promenade. It is planned that a small number of low-rise basic facilities will be provided within the military dock. The view of the Victoria Harbour will not be blocked.
(c) As mentioned above, the military dock will be constructed in accordance with the 1994 Sino-British Defence Land Agreement. The location of the military dock is clearly shown on the Central District (Extension) Outline Zoning Plan. The question of discussing with the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison afresh does not arise.
Ends/Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Issued at HKT 14:53