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Advisory Council on the Environment

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Western District Development Strategy (WDDS)

 

(ACE Paper 40/2000)
For discussion

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this Paper is:
    1. to present to Members the conceptual proposal of the Western District Development Strategy (WDDS); and
       
    2. to seek Members' views on the WDDS.
       
  2. Background of the Previous Green Island Development Study
     
      2.1 The Green Island Reclamation was first recommended by the Study of Harbour Reclamation and Urban Growth (SHRUG) as early as in 1983. It was identified as one of the major reclamation projects in the Territorial Development Strategy in 1986. Subsequently, the Green Island Reclamation Feasibility Study was commissioned in 1988 and completed in 1993 with a target population of 103,500 and reclamation of about 186 ha.
     
      2.2 In the 1996 Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR), Green Island Reclamation was identified as one of the 10 strategic growth areas to meet housing demand. The Government then carried out the Green Island Development (GID) - Engineering Investigation and Planning Review, which was substantially completed by the end of 1998. It concluded that a reclamation of about 193 ha would be required to accommodate the target population of about 135,800 and cater for the strategic transport infrastructures, including MTR West Island Line to Kennedy Town, Route 7, Route 10 and Outer Western Rail Corridor.
     
      2.2 In view of the public sentiment against large-scale reclamation at the Victoria Harbour, it had become necessary to review the GID, in particular, its reclamation limit.
     
  3. Formulation of the Western District Development Strategy
     
      3.1 The WDDS presents as an integrated conceptual plan for the Western District covering a proposed reclamation off Kennedy Town as well as the hinterland of Sheung Wan, Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town.
     
      3.2 In the formulation of the WDDS, a wide range of options for reducing the scale of reclamation and the ways that the proposed reclamation may contribute to and facilitate the rejuvenation of the Western District have been considered. The aspirations and needs of the local community and the vision and goals for the Victoria Harbour have all been taken into account.
     
      3.3 The major objectives of the WDDS are to:
    1. facilitate the rejuvenation of the Western District as the "Western Gateway" of the Victoria Harbour;
       
    2. provide land for housing and to help address the shortfalls in the provision of community facilities and open space
    3. cater for the construction of major transport infrastructure including the MTR West Island Line and the Route 7.

     
  4. The Proposed Reclamation off Kennedy Town
     
      4.1 The WDDS has two major components, i.e. the proposed reclamation off Kennedy Town and the potential development packages in Sai Ying Pun, the Belcher's Area and Kennedy Town. The proposed reclamation has been significantly reduced to about 79 ha for a population of 70 000. The conceptual scheme has the following key features:
    1. The Green Island and Little Green Island will be preserved, and the Sulphur Channel will be retained.
       
    2. A promenade of about 25 meters in width and 2km in length is planned along the waterfront of the reclamation. It can link up with the proposed Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park. In the long term, there would be potential for future extension connecting the planned promenade to those in the Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay and even to Oil Street at North Point.
       
    3. Opportunities are provided for the development of a "green' and "people-oriented" mini new town with the introduction of mega-deck structure to cover up major roads and convenient mechanical pedestrian links to connect with the MTR stations. Water cooling central air conditioning system, trolley bus and the like can also be adopted to serve the area.
       
    4. 3 major green corridors preserving views to Northeast Lantau, the Tsing Ma Bridge and the Lion Rock are provided.
       
    5. A Stepped-height concept will be adopted on the reclamation. Housing blocks ranging from 10 to 15 storeys would spread out along the waterfront. Taller blocks would be placed at more in-land locations integrated with landscaped local open space either at ground or podium levels.
       
    6. There would be sufficient provision of land for district open space and community facilities, including a school village.
       
    7. A tunnel alignment through Mount Davis is recommended for Route 7 to avoid interrupting the natural shoreline from Kennedy Town to Sandy Bay.

      (h) Sufficient land is reserved for possible future provision of Route 10 and the Outer Western Rail Corridor although there is no definite plan for these long-term transport infrastructures.

       
      4.2 The proposed reclamation covers an area of approximately 79 ha. A landuse budget of the reclamation is as follows:
     
      Approximate Area & %
    Landuse Hectares Percentage
    Residential 33.0 42%
    Commercial 2.3 3%
    Government, Institution or Community 10.5 13%
    Open Space 14.0 18%
    Other Specified Uses 3.0 4%
    Road 9.7 12%
    Road Reserve & Temporary Open Space 6.5 8%
    Total Area 79.00 100%

     
  5. Potential Development Packages in Western District
     
      5.1 An important consideration of the WDDS is to facilitate the rejuvenation of the Western District through comprehensive urban renewal and restructuring. The proposed MTR West Island Line tentatively is planned to have 4 stations. The development of the rail line and its stations would provide good opportunity for urban renewal by both the public and private sectors in the Western District.
     
      5.2 Taking the advantage of the future possible MTR stations, 3 potential development packages at Sai Ying Pun, the Belcher's Area and Kennedy Town have been identified. These potential packages include possible comprehensive redevelopment projects at and around the future MTR stations, redevelopment at the ex-abattoir and incinerator site, the Mt. Davis Cottage Area, Kennedy Town Police Quarters and the Western Police Station. Opportunity for redevelopment of the Western Wholesale Food Market and tram depot will also be investigated.
     
      5.2 The main features of the 3 potential development packages are briefly summarized as follows:
     
    1. Sai Ying Pun Development Package
      • The Western Police Station and the Western Magistracy may be relocated to make way for the development of MTR station and associated comprehensive redevelopment.
         
      • The Western Wholesale Food Market may be relocated for comprehensive redevelopment which could be connected to the future MTR station.
         
      • Potential escalator link along Centre Street will link up Mid-levels West with the future MTR station and facilitate urban renewal in Sai Ying Pun.
    2. The Belcher's Area Development Package
      • Comprehensive development is planned above the MTR station.
         
      • Potential escalator/elevator link is planned to connect Pok Fu Lam Road/HKU to the future MTR station.
         
      • Possible public transport interchange at Pok Fu Lam Road further facilitates the use of the escalator link to reach the MTR station.
         
    3. Kennedy Town Development Package
      • Comprehensive development is planned at Lung Wah Street, Kwun Lung Lau and Sai Wan Estate.
         
      • Comprehensive redevelopment is planned at the Mt Davis Cottage Area and Police Quarters, with the provision of community facilities including 2 primary schools and 1 secondary school.
         
      • Redevelopment at the ex-abattoir and incinerator site is planned to incorporate the MTR station with a mega-deck structure connecting to the proposed reclamation.
         
      • Restructuring of land use at the Sai Ning Street area is recommended.
         
      • Possible escalator link is planned to connect development at Lung Wah Street, Kwun Lung Lau, Sai Wai Estate and Mt. Davis Cottage Area site to the MTR station.
         

     
  6. Compliance with Protection of the Harbour Ordinance
     
      6.1 The Protection of the Harbour Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended in December 1999, applies to the harbour in the Western District. Under the Ordinance, the harbour is to be preserved and protected as a special public asset and a natural heritage of Hong Kong people. In considering any possible reclamation, all public officers and public bodies are required to have regard to the presumption against reclamation principle in the Ordinance; and to weigh carefully the public benefits of the proposed project with any necessary reclamation, against the preservation of the harbour.
     
      6.2 In considering the proposed reclamation off Kennedy Town, due regards have been given to the presumption against reclamation principle in the Ordinance. Apart from providing land to accommodate strategic population growth in the urban area, the proposed reclamation will also support the provision of the MTR West Island Line Extension - a key transport infrastructure crucial to the future redevelopment of the Western District and long demanded by local residents and District Council. Moreover, the provision of an attractive and accessible harbour waterfront for public enjoyment coupled with a completely new way of people-oriented urban planning will provide an opportunity of developing this strategically located district into a new "Western Gateway" for Hong Kong. After thorough consideration and taking a balanced view, it is concluded that the public benefits of the proposed reclamation will outweigh the preservation of this part of the harbour.
     
  7. Consultation
     
      7.1 A Consultation Digest (http://www.info.gov.hk/planning/index.aspx?langno=1&nodeid=894) for WDDS is available for public comments. The public consultation exercise will last until end of 2000.
     
      7.1 A public forum organized by Planning Department for the WDDS was held on 4 November 2000. The Central & Western District Council and the Southern District Council were consulted on 31 October 2000 and 30 November 2000 respectively. We have also attended a number of discussion forums on the WDDS with the local residents/groups organized by individual District Council Members and LegCo Members. It is the intention of the Government to seek public views on the concept plan before carrying out the detailed planning, environmental and engineering feasibility studies for the WDDS in 2001.
     
  8. Advice Sought

Members are invited to note and provide views on the WDDS.

Planning Department
December 2000


 

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Friday, 28 April, 2006