Following is a question by the Hon James To Kun-sun and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (October 26):
According to a paper submitted by the Government to the Subcommittee on Harbourfront Planning of this Council in July this year, the Government will examine the establishment of a dedicated "harbourfront authority" for harbourfront development. Moreover, the Government also proposed that "the open space at ex-Tai Kok Tsui bus terminus site will be developed into a waterfront open space by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department" (Tai Kok Tsui bus terminus development project), and "possible development of a new waterfront promenade for public use upon successful re-zoning of a vacant site of about 200-metre long to the north of Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter to 'Open Space' use" (Yau Ma Tei waterfront development project). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the current progress of the Tai Kok Tsui bus terminus development project; whether the final design is expected to be different from the design previously submitted to the Harbourfront Commission; of the expected time when the Government will proceed to seek funding from this Council;
(b) regarding the aforesaid development projects in the waterfront areas of Tai Kok Tsui and Yau Ma Tei, whether the Government will in the near future conduct traffic assessment or study the improvement of transport supporting facilities in order to mitigate the possible impact of the projects on the traffic in such districts; in addition, as I have learnt that at present provision has been made for an exit to be connected to a footbridge leading from the southern concourse of the Olympic Station of the MTR Tung Chung Line to the nearby waterfront, whether the Government will consider constructing access links to enhance the accessibility of the nearby waterfront areas;
(c) of the expected time when the vacant site located to the north of Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter and reserved for "Open Space" use will be developed into a waterfront promenade; given that the Government has planned to construct marine facilities at the existing "Government, Institution or Community Facilities" site which is adjacent to that vacant site, and the waterfront access next to the marine facilities will be developed into a waterfront promenade, whether the Government will develop that waterfront access into a waterfront promenade together with the "Open Space" site at the same time; in addition, whether at present there is any new progress of exploring how to improve the pedestrian facilities running from the West Kowloon Cultural District located to the south of Yau Ma Tei towards the Tai Kok Tsui waterfront located to the north; and
(d) given that the Secretary for Development earlier said that a framework on the various aspects of the establishment of the "harbourfront authority" was expected to be worked out within one year, of the current progress, and according to the Government's estimate, whether it can complete drafting the framework as scheduled?
My reply to the four-part question is as follows:
(a) According to the Draft South West Kowloon Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) No. S/K20/26, the parcel of waterfront land at the ex-Tai Kok Tsui bus terminus site has been zoned as "Open Space". The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) consulted the Community Building Committee under the Yau Tsim Mong District Council (YTMDC) and the Task Force on Harbourfront Developments in Kowloon, Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing (Kowloon Task Force) under the Harbourfront Commission (HC) on the preliminary design of the open space development in May last year and early this year respectively. ArchSD is now fine-tuning the design of the open space in the light of the views collected and LCSD will prepare for funding application for the project in due course.
(b) Regarding the two development sites involved in the harbourfront development projects in Tai Kok Tsui and Yau Ma Tei, to which the question refers, the parcel of waterfront land at the ex-Tai Kok Tsui bus terminus site has been zoned as "Open Space" while the strip of land along Hoi Fai Road on the waterfront facing Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter has been rezoned from "Government, Institution or Community" (G/IC) to "Open Space" . As the traffic flow in relation to "Open Space" sites is normally lower than that of G/IC sites, the relevant change in zoning is not expected to cause adverse traffic impact on the road networks in the vicinity.
Regarding the area near the southern concourse of the MTR Olympic Station, the public can now walk from the MTR Olympic Station to the sites near Hoi Fai Road (including the above "Open Space" sites) by taking the footbridge leading to the Bank of China Centre and through the ground level footpath. The Administration does not have any plan to construct a new footbridge connecting the southern concourse of the MTR Olympic Station with the Hoi Fai Road area at this stage, but will continue to monitor closely the traffic and pedestrian flow in the area, and take appropriate follow-up action as necessary.
(c) A strip of land along Hoi Fai Road on the waterfront facing Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter has been rezoned from G/IC to "Open Space" to facilitate the proposed waterfront promenade development. The Development Bureau (DEVB) and the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) are exploring the direction of developing the proposed waterfront promenade and will commence the advance preparatory works as soon as practicable. The Administration will consult the relevant stakeholders, including YTMDC and HC etc, on the works design of the project in due course.
The Marine Department (MD) plans to build additional office facilities to meet its operational needs at the adjacent G/IC site to the north of its existing Harbour Patrol Section office at Hoi Fai Road. MD and ArchSD have briefed YTMDC and Kowloon Task Force under HC respectively on the relevant design and landscaping proposal this year. The Administration has set back the proposed building structure for the provision of a passageway to facilitate public access to the waterfront, subject to the future development of the nearby waterfront areas.
Moreover, there are existing establishments along the New Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter, namely the new Yau Ma Tei Public Cargo Working Area (PCWA) and some other government facilities, including the sewage pumping station of the Drainage Services Department, the marine refuse collection point of MD, the water selling kiosk of the Water Supplies Department and the PCWA Administration Building of MD. In the long run, the Administration will explore how to improve the connection of pedestrian facilities running from the Tai Kok Tsui waterfront in the north to the West Kowloon Cultural District in the south, on condition that the operation of the above facilities will not be affected.
(d) The Task Group on Management Model for the Harbourfront under the former Harbour-front Enhancement Committee recommended in its recommendation report that the Administration could in the long term establish an independent, statutory and dedicated authority for harbourfront planning, design, operation and management. Further to the Secretary for Development's remark in the motion debate on harbourfront development at a Legislative Council meeting held in July this year that relevant research work would be launched, the Harbour Unit of DEVB has commenced work on information collection, with a view to drawing up a framework by mid-2012 for consideration by the Government of the next term. The proposal will be further discussed by HC at its upcoming meetings.
Ends/Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:31