Report of the 59th Environmental Impact Assessment Subcommittee Meeting Comprehensive Feasibility Study for the Revised Scheme of South East Kowloon Development and Ways to Improve the Selection of EIA Reports
(ACE Paper 22/2001)
At its 59th meeting held on 4 June 2001, the Subcommittee received a briefing from the Territory Development Department (TDD) on the findings and recommendations of the Comprehensive Feasibility Study for the Revised Scheme of South East Kowloon Development (CFS). In addition, the Subcommittee also considered the draft Guidance Notes for Operation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance and discussed measures to improve the selection of EIA reports for consideration.
2. Members are requested to note the comments and views of the Subcommittee on the CFS, the draft Guidance Notes and measures to improve the selection of EIA reports.
VIEWS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE
Comprehensive Feasibility Study for the Revised Scheme of South East Kowloon Development
(ACE-EIA Paper 3/2001)
3. The previous Feasibility Study for South East Kowloon Development (SEKD) was commissioned in September 1995. In 1998, the draft Kai Tak (North) and Kai Tak (South) Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs) were gazetted under the Town Planning Ordinance. Due largely to the extent of reclamation, the Administration received a number of objections to the OZPs. Taking into account the public views and alternative proposals received, an Outline Concept Plan (OCP) for South East Kowloon Development was developed in May 1999 in which the total reclamation area was substantially reduced.
4. The new CFS commenced in November 1999. It includes a review of the OCP, the drawing up of a Preliminary Layout Plan (PLP) for public consultation, followed by detailed studies and preliminary designs and the production of an Outline Master Development Plan (OMDP).
The revised Draft Outline Zoning Plans
5. The Planning Department has prepared the revised draft Kai Tak OZPs based on the OMDP. In view of the need for early completion of public housing development on the north apron portion in order to facilitate the redevelopment of older estates in East Kowloon and the request for early reclamation of the Kai Tak Approach Channel, TDD plans to have the revised draft OZPs gazetted in July 2001. It will also seek funds from the Finance Committee in November 2001 for detailed design of infrastructure related to the north apron portion and the reclamation of the Kai Tak Approach Channel.
6. The CFS falls within item 1 in Schedule 3 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance. The proponent has already completed an EIA report on the CFS and will submit it to the Director of Environmental Protection in June 2001 for approval. If the Director of Environmental Protection, in consultation with relevant authorities, considers that the EIA report meets the requirements of the EIA study brief and the Technical Memorandum on the EIA process, he will request the project proponent to initiate public consultation in accordance with the requirements under the EIAO, including submitting the EIA report to the Council for formal consideration.
Views and Recommendations of the EIA Subcommittee
7. At the Subcommittee meeting, Members' discussion focused mainly on the planning concepts on providing transport infrastructure. They asked questions on the use of environmentally friendly transportation modes to reduce air pollution, the design of roads to reduce noise pollution at street level, the percentage of road reserve and the application of the park-and-ride concept. Members also enquired about the treatment of sediments in the reclamation process and the provision of waste separation facilities.
8. As far as environmentally friendly transport is concerned, the proponent pointed out that the existing MTR in East Kowloon and the future Shatin to Central Link would serve the planning area at the border. The proponent encourages the use of environmentally friendly shuttle (e.g. trolley bus or light rail) to connect the area and nearby railway stations.
9. On road design, the proponent pointed out that a large number of roads would be in the form of tunnels or depressed roads so as to reduce air and noise pollution. In general, roads would be designed in such a way that would encourage people to walk or to use public transport. Pedestrianization would be a significant feature in the overall planning concept. Furthermore, the design of the strategic roads namely Central Kowloon Route (CKR), T1 and T2 would discourage traffic to enter the area as a bypass.
10. The proponent also pointed out that road reserve amounts to 23.6% of the total land use in the planning area. This percentage has taken into account the strategic roads, (CKR, T1 and T2), Prince Edward Road, Kwun Tong Bypass and Kwun Tong Road which fall within the OZPs. Compared with the 30% road reserve in West Kowloon, the proposed 23.6% of road reserve for South East Kowloon represents the minimum requirement. Furthermore, to discourage the use of private vehicles, limited parking space would be provided in three big public transport interchanges in the area.
11. On the last point, Members were concerned that the concept of park-and-ride was not fully explored. They felt that the present proposals might result in the situation that on one hand, public transport serving the area is inadequate and on the other hand, vehicle owners will find it hard to travel to the area in view of the limited supply of parking space. The proponent indicated that the parking facilities to be provided in public transport interchanges would meet the need. Nonetheless, the proponent noted Members' comments on this aspect and would take them into account in the detailed design stage.
Treatment of sediments
12. As for the treatment of sediments in the reclamation process, the proponent pointed out that options involving in-situ treatment and ex-situ treatment of contaminated sediments were recommended. Pilot tests would be conducted during the detailed design stage to ascertain which option would be more suitable.
Waste separation facilities
13. On waste separation facilities, the proponent clarified that the proposed automatic refuse collection system would be able to provide separate inlets for disposal of different types of waste. The ultimate success of the separation system would depend on the co-operation of the residents in using the refuse collection system.
14. Finally, the Subcommittee advised the proponent that the views and comments raised at the meeting would not pre-empt the statutory process of the formal EIA report to be submitted at a later stage and the EIA reports of individual designated projects under the EIAO. Each individual project would need to fully comply with the requirements of the EIAO and to present all reasonable and practical alternatives at the time of submission of EIA reports.
Draft Guidance Notes For Operation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance
15. Four sets of draft Guidance Note For Operation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance prepared by EPD were circulated to Members for comments prior to the meeting. No feedback was received. The Subcommittee therefore agreed that the Guidance Notes be issued for trial and be reviewed in one or two years' time.
Selecting of EIA reports for consideration
16. Some Members considered that more information should be provided by the proponent to facilitate Members to select EIA reports for consideration. The Secretariat will discuss this with EPD and report back to the Subcommittee at the next meeting.