10                LANDSCAPE & vISUAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

10.1     Introduction

10.1.1   This chapter outlines the landscape and visual impacts associated with the Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII) as a Schedule 3 project in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO).  Both construction and operation impacts are assessed.

10.1.2      In addition, assessments are undertaken for the following three Schedule 2 Designated Projects, which form part of the proposed development works:

·         Designated Project 1 (DP1) - Reclamation Works;

·         Designated Project 2 (DP2) - WDII Major Roads;

·         Designated Project 3 (DP3) - Kellett Island Marina;

10.1.3      The assessment includes:

·         a definition of the scope and contents of the study, including a description of the assessment methodology;

·         a review of the relevant planning and development control framework;

·         a review of comments received during Public Consultation and how these have been addressed in the design;

·         a baseline study providing a comprehensive and accurate description of the baseline landscape and visual character;

·         recommendation of appropriate mitigation measures and associated implementation programmes;

·         identification of the potential landscape and visual impacts and prediction of their magnitude and potential significance, before and after the mitigation measures; and

·         an assessment of the acceptability or otherwise of the predicted residual impacts, according to the five criteria set out in Annex 10 of the EIAO-TM.

10.1.4      Section 10.2 describes the scope and content of the study, section 10.3 describes the planning and development control framework, section 10.4 presents a summary of the comments received from the Public Consultation Forums and section 10.5 describes the baseline landscape and visual resources and character.  Each of these sections applies to each of the assessments for the Schedule 2 Designated Projects and the Schedule 3 Project. 

10.1.5      Section 10.6 presents the assessment of DP1 – Reclamation Works, section 10.7 presents the assessment of DP2 – WDII Major Roads, section 10.8 presents the assessment for DP3 – Kellett Island Marina, section 10.9 presents the assessment for the Schedule 3 Project – Wan Chai Development Phase II.

10.1.6      Section 10.10 summarises the conclusions of the assessments.

10.2     Scope and Content of Study

The Study Area

10.2.1   The Study Area, as shown in Figure 10.1, is demarcated by Hing Fat Street to the east, Victoria Park Road and Gloucester Road to the south and Fenwick Pier Street to the west.  It falls within Hong Kong Planning Areas No. 5 (Wan Chai), No. 8 (North Point) and No. 24 (Central District – Extensions).   The total existing land area within the boundary measures approximately 53 hectares.

Assessment Methodology

10.2.2   The assessment of landscape impacts has involved the following procedures:

·         Identification of the baseline landscape resources (physical and cultural) and landscape character found within the study area.  This has been achieved by site visit and desk-top study of topographical maps, information databases and photographs.

·         Assessment of the degree of sensitivity to change of the landscape resources.  This is influenced by a number of factors including whether the resource is common or rare, whether is considered to be of local, regional, national or global importance, whether there are any statutory or regulatory limitations/ requirements relating to the resource, the quality of the resource, and the ability of the resource to accommodate change.

·         Identification of potential sources of landscape impacts. These are the various elements of the construction works and operational procedures that would generate landscape impacts.

·         Identification of the magnitude of landscape impacts.  The magnitude of the impact depends on a number of factors including the physical extent of the impact, the landscape and visual context of the impact, and the time-scale of the impact - i.e. whether it is temporary (short, medium or long term), permanent but potentially reversible, or permanent and irreversible.  Landscape impacts have been quantified wherever possible.

·         Identification of potential landscape mitigation measures.  These may take the form of adopting alternative designs or revisions to the basic engineering and architectural design to prevent and/or minimise adverse impacts; remedial measures such as colour and textural treatment of building features; and compensatory measures such as the implementation of landscape design measures (e.g. tree planting, creation of new open space etc) to compensate for unavoidable adverse impacts and to attempt to generate potentially beneficial long term impacts. A programme for the mitigation measures is provided.  The agencies responsible for the implementation, management and maintenance of the mitigation measures are identified and their approval-in-principle has been sought.

·         Prediction of the significance of landscape impacts before and after the implementation of the mitigation measures. By synthesising the magnitude of the various impacts and the sensitivity of the various landscape resources it is possible to categorise impacts in a logical, well-reasoned and consistent fashion.  Table 10.1 shows the rationale for dividing the degree of significance into four thresholds, namely insubstantial, slight, moderate, and substantial depending on the combination of a negligible-small-intermediate-large magnitude of impact and a low-medium-high degree of sensitivity of landscape resource. 

·         Prediction of Acceptability of Impacts.  An overall assessment of the acceptability, or otherwise, of the impacts according to the five criteria set out in Annex 10 of the EIAO-TM.

Table 10.1    Relationship between Receptor Sensitivity and Impact Magnitude in Defining Impact Significance

 

 

Large

 

Slight/Moderate

 

 

Moderate/

Substantial

 

Substantial

Magnitude of Impact

 

 

Intermediate

 

Slight/Moderate

 

Moderate

 

 

Moderate/

Substantial

 

 

Small

 

Negligible/Slight

 

Slight/Moderate

 

Slight/Moderate

 

 

 

Negligible

Insubstantial

Insubstantial

Insubstantial

 

 

 

Low

Medium

High

 

 

Receptor Sensitivity

(Landscape Resource, Landscape Character Area or VSR)

 

10.2.3   The assessment of visual impacts has involved the following procedures:

·         Identification of the Zones of Visual Influence (ZVIs) during the construction and operational phases of the WDII project.  This is achieved by site visit and desk-top study of topographic maps and photographs, and preparation of cross-sections to determine visibility of the WDII project from various locations.

·         Identification of the Visually Sensitive Receivers (VSRs) within the ZVIs at construction and operational phases.  These are the people who would reside within, work within, play within, or travel through, the ZVIs.

·         Identification of potential sources of visual impacts. These are the various elements of the construction works and operational procedures that would generate visual impacts.

·         Assessment of the degree of sensitivity to change of the VSRs and assessment of potential magnitude of visual impacts.  Factors considered include:

§    whether the person is at home, at work, at play, or travelling.  Those who view the impact from their homes are considered to be highly sensitive as the attractiveness or otherwise of the outlook from their home will have a substantial effect on their perception of the quality and acceptability of their home environment and their general quality of life. Those who view the impact from their workplace are considered to be only moderately sensitive as the attractiveness or otherwise of the outlook will have a less important, although still material, effect on their perception of their quality of life.  The degree to which this applies depends on whether the workplace is industrial, retail or commercial.  Those who view the impact whilst taking part in an outdoor leisure activity may display varying sensitivity depending on the type of leisure activity. Those who view the impact whilst travelling on a public thoroughfare will also display varying sensitivity depending on the speed of travel;

§    the visual context of the VSRs (e.g. the existing view quality, and availability and quality of alternative views);

§    the duration of the impact, the distance of the source of impact from the viewer, the degree of visibility of the impact, and the degree to which the impact dominates the field of vision of the viewer;

§    consideration is also given to the relative numbers of affected VSRs in predicting the final impact.

·         Identification of potential visual mitigation measures. These may take the form of revisions/refinements to the engineering and architectural design to minimise potential impacts, and/or the implementation of landscape design measures (e.g. screen tree planting, colour design of hard landscape features etc) to alleviate adverse visual impacts and generate potentially beneficial long term visual impacts. A programme for the mitigation measures is provided.  The agencies responsible for the implementation, management and maintenance of the mitigation measures are identified and their approval-in-principle has been sought.

·         Prediction of the significance of visual impacts before and after the implementation of the mitigation measures. By synthesising the magnitude of the various visual impacts and the sensitivity of the VSRs, it is possible to categorise the degree of significance of the impacts in a logical, well-reasoned and consistent fashion.  Table 10.1 shows the rationale for dividing the degree of significance into four thresholds, namely insubstantial, slight, moderate, and substantial depending on the combination of a negligible-small-intermediate-large magnitude of impact and a low-medium-high degree of sensitivity of VSRs.

·         Prediction of Acceptability of Impacts.  An overall assessment of the acceptability, or otherwise, of the impacts according to the five criteria set out in Annex 10 of the EIAO-TM.

10.3     Review of the Planning and Development Control Framework

General

10.3.1   This section provides an overview of Government’s development intentions for the Study Area, specifically from landscape and visual standpoints. These have been identified from Government studies and documents which represent strategic development proposals for the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation.

10.3.2   Earlier strategic studies were predicated on a strong commitment to economic growth, a portion of which was to be reliant upon large-scale land formation.  These studies had advocated the creation of a substantial area of reclamation in the Central and Wan Chai Districts to provide land for a high profile extension of the Central Business District (CBD) out to the new waterfront.  However, there has been, in recent years, a shift in the development framework, with regards to the grounds for justifying any proposed reclamation in the Harbour (i.e. the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance) and specifically, the extent and functions of, and uses to be accommodated within, the proposed Central and Wan Chai Reclamation.

10.3.3   Nonetheless, some underlying fundamental design principles influencing the layout of Wan Chai Development Phase II may still apply.

Metroplan

10.3.4   Metroplan (October 1991) sought to provide a comprehensive framework for the preparation of Development Statements and co-ordination of public and private efforts to implement changes and improvements to the Metropolitan area to the year 2011. The following summarises the relevant key landscape and visual issues within the Metroplan proposals which are relevant to WDII.

Open Space Framework

10.3.5   A clearly defined integrated open space system is advocated.  Metroplan proposes the maximisation of the amenity value of the harbour, shorelines, urban fringes and existing major parks.

Metroplan Urban Design Statement

10.3.6   The statement describes:-

·         a series of broad urban design principles which allow and encourage design/development flexibility and identify key areas which require a design development approach; and

·         major contextual elements within Hong Kong Island West (HKIW), including the scenic backdrop of the Victoria Peak ridgeline; Victoria Harbour (which is the most dominant feature of the Study Area); landmarks such as Central Plaza, the Bank of China, Hongkong Bank, Statue Square and the LegCo Building; and buildings, parks and special use areas such as the Happy Valley Race Course.  These are defined as important reference points providing distinctiveness and legibility and which help to structure the urban environment.

10.3.7   The Metroplan Selected Strategy is subject to a review on an as-need basis.  The process of preparing development statements for the Metro districts can be considered as a contribution to the review process.  The Metroplan framework was used as a basis to develop the Hong Kong Island West Development Strategy (HKWDS) planning proposals.  It is possible that a number of the parameters and proposals contained in the strategy may be modified under the current Metroplan review.

Central & Wan Chai Reclamation : Development of Urban Design Parameters (DUDPS)

10.3.8   The DUDPS (October 1993) was undertaken following the recommendations of the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation Feasibility Study endorsed by the Land, Development and Planning Committee (LDPC) in January 1991.  It examined the urban design and landscape context of, and prepared urban design and landscape parameters for, the proposed reclamation, comprising Central, Tamar and Exhibition Cells (total area = 123 hectares).

10.3.9   The Urban Design Objectives included:-

·         an emphasis on the special nature and character of each cell by the clear definition of open space, both physically and visually, and by the development of distinctive landscape proposals;

·         measures to ensure that a legible and directional pedestrian circulation system is integrated within the development, linking together major activity nodes and reinforcing links with adjoining areas; and

·         proposals to optimise the design possibilities inherent in the waterfront, at ground level, as a suitable setting for recreational activities and amenities, during both daytime and evening.

10.3.10 The two relevant visual and landscape concerns are Pedestrian Circulation and the Landscape Framework and Design Criteria. These are briefly reviewed below.

Pedestrian Circulation

10.3.11 The DUDPS stated that, with regard to the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation (CWR), “the underlying quality of urban environment is to a large extent, dependent on the design, integration and continuity of its open space and pedestrian circulation system”.  The DUDPS recognised that all pedestrian and circulation areas have some recreational and amenity value which can be enhanced if these facilities are adequately integrated at different levels as part of a comprehensive open space and pedestrian circulation system. 

10.3.12 Specific issues include the following:-

·         vertical segregation of principal vehicular and pedestrian routes has, by and large, enhanced rather than supplemented the street level pedestrian environment and the adjoining retail framework;

·         the ground level environment in Wan Chai North is generally adequate to meet existing daytime pedestrian flows. The main pedestrian routes are east west along Harbour Road and Gloucester Road with adequate pavement widths. However, ground level crossings are poorly positioned; and

·         existing footbridge links across Gloucester Road are poorly connected with major activity nodes in Wan Chai North.  Vertical connections between ground and elevated levels are generally inadequate.

The Landscape Framework and Design Criteria

10.3.13 The Landscape Framework and Design Criteria provided in the DUDPS emphasised the integration of landscape proposals with the larger urban design framework. It stated that “wherever possible, landscaped open space should provide an appropriate setting for and be defined by adjoining building groups, establishing a framework for the detailed designed disposition of built elements”.

10.3.14 Component parts were identified, their overall role defined and site specific planning and design criteria presented in the DUDPS.  These component parts are listed below.

10.3.15 The DUDPS considered the landscape framework and the pedestrian movement system to be inherently linked.  District open spaces were envisaged to provide a range of passive and active facilities.  Major open spaces were proposed to provide a dual function of creating corridors through the new development linking with existing open and civic spaces and providing a general landscape matrix to create a ‘special identity’.

10.3.16 Major elements of the landscape framework identified under the DUDPS which are relevant to this baseline review are discussed below:-

·         An Exhibition Park

This was envisaged under the DUDPS to form an open space corridor from the existing urban area to the proposed waterfront, extending the network of existing open spaces towards the harbour.  It was envisaged to provide active and passive facilities at a regional level;

 

·         District Open Spaces

Two District Open Spaces were proposed under the DUDPS to be located within the WDII Study Area.  These were to be associated with the proposed residential development in CWR.  In addition to providing recreational facilities, these two open spaces were also envisaged to act as magnets to extend pedestrian activity in an easterly direction along the promenade;

·         Waterfront Open Spaces (including Promenade)

The area identified as The Exhibition Cell Waterfront incorporates a promenade that extends pedestrian routes along the waterfront from Wan Chai Basin to the Typhoon Shelter to the east. This was designed to secure public access to the harbour along the length of the proposed reclamation, to provide an attractive setting to the developments, to cater for east west pedestrian circulation and to provide a focus for activities and events;

·         Ground Level Pavements and Associated Open Spaces

The DUDPS recognised the value of ground level pavements in providing the principal means of pedestrian circulation at street level.  The treatment of the pavement areas has a strong influence on the perceived quality of the external environment. Road D12 proposed under the DUDPS was identified to be that most actively used by pedestrians within the WDII Study Area.  It was planned to cater for a mixture of commercial, retail, residential, ferry pier and hotel activities; and

·         Concourses, Plazas and Incidental Spaces

Includes all spaces which function other than primary pedestrian movement elements or major public spaces, were recognised under the DUDPS to contribute significantly to the landscape framework.  They are generally associated with shopping and commercial functions and include building forecourts, cafe terraces, atria, plazas and other threshold elements.

Hong Kong Island West Development Statement (HKWDS)

10.3.17 The HKWDS was prepared to translate the broad concepts outlined in Metroplan into a co-ordinated planning and development framework to guide the physical development and improvement of Hong Kong Island West to the year 2011.  HKWDS included the preparation of an Outline Master Development Plan (OMDP) and included sectoral planning frameworks covering, among others, landscape and recreation.

10.3.18 The key visual and landscape issues identified under HKWDS included the following:-

·         the erosion of the urban skyline and the natural ridgeline resulting from intensification of development and increased building heights;

·         the creation of  homogenous ‘canyon developments’ with little character or definition;

·         the deterioration of the urban environment (lack of visual interest and of a sense of history) through demolition and/or insensitive redevelopment of historic buildings; and

·         the increasing shortfalls in the quality and quantity of district and local open space and recreational facilities.

10.3.19 In line with the planning concept put forward by HKWDS, “a network of parks and recreational spaces connected by pedestrian linkages [was proposed to be] provided within and between each node to facilitate connectivity and to improve the attractiveness of urban form”.  The statement identified ‘Solution Spaces’ to achieve development objectives and to redress shortfalls in housing, open space and “Government, Institution and Community” (“G/IC”) facilities provision.

Pedestrian Network

10.3.20 HKWDS stated that “where practicable, current Government standards or other approved standards should be applied to enhance pedestrian, parking and servicing provision”.  Of relevance to WDII are the following proposals:-

·         the provision of a grade separated walkway system within CWR;

·         the improvement of cross connections across major trunk roads including Connaught Road, Harcourt Road and Gloucester Road;

·         the general enhancement of pedestrian networks; and

·         local improvements, including the introduction of new footbridges linking to elevated circulation systems, and footpath widening related to redevelopment schemes.

Recommended Urban Design & Conservation Action Plan

10.3.21 HKWDS included a Recommended Urban Design and Action Plan.  Issues under this Action Plan which are relevant to WDII include the following:-

·         the introduction of Building Height Control Measures to provide guidelines for controlling the height of future development.  These included the following:-

-          the creation of a stepped building height profile rising gradually from the harbour;

-          the maintenance of the visual integrity of Victoria Peak and adjacent ridgelines via the preservation of a 20% building free backdrop from Causeway Bay to Sheung Wan, as viewed from Kowloon “Star” Ferry;

-          the provision of a defined urban skyline which articulates a unique district height profile;

-          the definition of view corridors to provide visual permeability;

-          the control of building crown features to reduce visual confusion and proliferation of obtrusive structures; and

-          the allowance for flexibility in the building height controls to allow for visual articulation and dynamism of the cityscape; and

·         the consideration of Visual Aspects, particularly, the need to maintain the existing north-south view corridors between the Victoria Peak ridgelines and Victoria Harbour in the eastern/central and far western areas of HKIW.

Recommended Landscape, Open Space and Recreation Action Plan

10.3.22 The main objective of the HKWDS Recreation Action Plan was “to create and define a hierarchy of open spaces which, where possible, were interconnected to provide continuous pedestrian links via landscaped corridors and open spaces”.

 

10.3.23 Principal elements relevant to WDII include the following:-

·         Landscape Protection;

·         Open Space & Recreation Provision – comprising an integrated open space framework encompassing a hierarchy of civic open spaces, urban fringe parks, district open spaces, local open spaces, and open space corridors;

·         Major Civic Open Spaces - including an Exhibition Park, the Statue Square Open Space Corridor, a Gateway Park and a waterfront promenade;

·         District & Local Open Spaces - as previously described;

·         Open Space Corridors - the creation of an integrated network of open spaces will be achieved through progressive redevelopment and development of structured landscape open spaces and waterfront promenades.  In addition, the development of a Landscape Design Framework was advocated to facilitate implementation of the envisaged open space structure;

·         Pedestrianisation Schemes & Recreational Routes; and

·         Streetscape Improvement Areas.

The Leisure Basin

10.3.24 In view of the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, a separate study was undertaken under the HKWDS consultancy to re-assess the development needs for CWR.  Five reclamation options were prepared under the assignment for consideration by Government.  The Study concluded that reclamation of some 80 hectares of land (on the premise that provision for the majority of land use requirements identified by the original feasibility study was made), retaining the originally planned limits of reclamation for the Tamar Cell, plus a new ‘Leisure City’ tourism node at Wan Chai/Causeway Bay, is required to satisfy the overall land use requirements identified for the CWR. 

10.3.25 The proposal provided for three distinct water bodies – a marina, mainly for use by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club; a typhoon shelter to replace the existing facility; and a tourist node and cruise centre focused around a central ‘leisure’ basin.   The proposed layout extended the waterfront open space associated with the main body of reclamation, and established pedestrian connections with Causeway Bay and Victoria Park.  A robust public ‘edge’ animated the area through the provision of new tourist attractions which established its new identity and image.

The Next Steps

10.3.26 A series of key sectoral actions were identified under HKWDS.  A number of these necessitated detailed feasibility studies to determine the means by which open space and pedestrian networks and streetscape improvement could be achieved within HKIW. 

10.3.27 HKWDS also identified the key Urban Design, Landscape and Recreation 'Problems' and 'Needs' pertaining to Hong Kong Island West.  These are outlined below.

Problems

10.3.28 The primary urban design, landscape and recreation problems within HKIW include the following:-

·         the erosion of urban skyline;

·         the proliferation of “pencil block” development;

·         the proliferation of single use (commercial offices) ribbon development along the east-west waterfront roadway arteries;

·         the loss of character/definition/individuality to the urban district;

·         the overall under-provision of active recreation facilities;

·         the general shortage of district and local open space in HKIW;

·         the lack of linkage between open spaces;

·         the poor location, distribution and accessibility to major recreation and parks; and

·         the poor quality of open space.

Needs

10.3.29 The primary urban design, landscape and recreation needs within HKIW include the following:-

·         the need to install mechanisms to protect listed buildings;

·         the need to realise the potential of the waterfront for public recreation;

·         the need for an integrated network of open spaces and pedestrian routes to mirror those being developed for the reclamation areas or the development of additional pocket parks within redevelopment areas;

·         the need to retain the distinctive backdrop of the wooded slopes and natural ridgeline behind HKIW, areas of notable townscape quality, and prominent landmark features such as the harbour waterfront;

·         the need to protect the natural landscape features and landmarks, institutionalise the protection of Victoria Peak Ridgeline (HKWDS proposed the maintenance of a 20% building free backdrop below the ridgeline above Wan Chai, Central and Western,  when viewed from the Kowloon Peninsula).  This has implications on allowable development heights for the CWR area;

·         the need to protect and conserve existing landscape features and the need for measures allowing for its early implementation;

·         the need for ample social facilities and district open spaces to address a significant shortfall of “G/IC” facilities; and

·         the need for sufficient open space within new reclamation, where possible.

Protection of the Harbour Ordinance

10.3.30 The “Protection of the Harbour Ordinance”, enacted on 30 June 1997, establishes a legal presumption against reclamation in the harbour area. 

10.3.31 The Department of Justice has advised that the principle does not prohibit reclamation or impose any specific procedural requirement, but requires that public benefit of the preservation of the harbour be weighed against the public benefit of the reclamation project before a decision to proceed with the project is taken.  Provided that the balancing exercise is undertaken, the court would not substitute its own decision for that of the public officers and bodies concerned.

10.3.32 Two proposed reclamation areas fall within the “harbour area”, namely:-

·         the remaining portions of the CWR; and

·         the proposed Kowloon Point Reclamation.

10.3.33 The Ordinance states a presumption against reclamation on the basis that the harbour is a “special public asset and natural heritage of Hong Kong people.”  It is now incumbent upon the Hong Kong Government of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) to interpret the application of the Ordinance.  For the purpose of this report, the wording of the Ordinance is taken to imply that particular attention should be given to safeguarding the aesthetic and scenic value of the harbour in its current state as a special public asset and a natural heritage of the Hong Kong people.  The Ordinance has been subsequently amended to extend its provisions to the western and eastern limits of the harbour (refer to Figure 10.17).

Review of Landscape Issues Associated with the Current Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs)

10.3.34 The Study Area is largely covered by three OZPs.  These are the Wan Chai OZP (No. S/H5/17), the Causeway Bay OZP (No. S/H6/8) and the North Point  OZP (No. S/H8/12).  One other OZP, the Central District (Extension) (No. S/H24/3) also covers areas adjacent to WDII.  The review of OZPs has not only included a review of the plans, but also of the  ‘Notes’ and “Explanatory Statements’ which accompany, and form part of, these plans.

103.35  The main landscape features depicted on the OZPs are limited to the open space network and the pedestrian linkages.  The OZPs illustrate broad principles of development within each planning area. 

10.3.36 Not all the OZPs listed above indicate the area of the proposed future reclamation. However, where it is indicated, the extent of reclamation shown reflects proposals put forth in the DUDPS.  In addition, the OZPs merely show the proposed reclamation boundary and do not specify the land uses proposed within the reclamation.

Open Space

10.3.37 As depicted on the relevant OZPs, open spaces within the Study Area mainly comprise those associated with major developments.  These include the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre (HKCEC) open space, the Central Plaza forecourt, and the Chinese Garden adjacent to the China Resources building.  An open space area/public promenade is also provided along the northern edge of the HKCEC extension.

10.3.38 Within the proposed reclamation area, reference is made on the OZPs to a requirement for the creation of a waterfront promenade open space.  A strip of land of at least 20 metres in width is envisaged for promenade use.  The OZPs recognise this future waterfront space as an integrated part of a future waterfront promenade extending throughout the whole Central and Wan Chai reclamation. 

10.3.39 "To exploit the waterfront setting, the design of the promenade should integrate open plazas, viewing platforms, recreation nodes and the ferry piers.  The enlarged portion of the waterfront promenade to the east of the HKCEC Extension should be developed as an open concourse forming a focal point in the area".

10.3.40 In addition, an area zoned “Other Specified Uses” (“OU”) on Convention Avenue opposite the HKCEC currently functions as a public promenade.  The Noon Day Gun open space in Causeway Bay is a small area located on the Victoria Park Road promenade along the southern edge of the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter.  It is noted that, as shown on the OZP, this existing promenade extending along the southern edge of the Typhoon Shelter is not a zoned open space but is part of the Victoria Park road reserve.

Pedestrian Links

10.3.41 A system of overhead pedestrian walkways is a major feature of the area.  This system links major developments and serves to improve pedestrian circulation throughout the Study Area.

World Class Harbour Frontage

10.3.42 As a development of the Chief Executive's vision to create a world class city, as delineated in his Policy Addresses in 1999 and 2000, the Government has stated that it wishes to see the development of a “world class harbour frontage” for Victoria Harbour.

Summary

10.3.43 It is considered that the WDII proposals are generally compatible with the planning and development control parameters outlined above and no further action would be required under the Town Planning Ordinance for the implementation of the proposals as outlined in this report. 

10.3.44 However, it is considered that the ability to meet Government's planning objective to create a world-class harbour frontage, in respect of visual and landscape impacts, is severely constrained in the area of the waterfront adjacent to the IECL.  This is due to the potentially dominating visual presence of the IECL itself, the requirement to minimise reclamation as much as possible, which reduces the width of available waterfront promenade, and, within this available width, the presence of a 26m wide drainage reserve for the diversion of discharges outside the typhoon shelter, and a 6m wide emergency vehicle access (EVA).

10.4     Summary of Views from Consultation Forums

10.4.1      A series of reports and working papers were produced during the initial stages of the study during which alternative Trunk Road options were considered and land use proposals were developed.  Three proposals were put forward to consultation, based on alternative Trunk Road configurations: Option A, a tunnel and flyover scheme along the shoreline (from which the current WDII design has been developed), Option D, incorporating a high level bridge over the typhoon shelter and Option G, an at-grade road scheme. In January 2000, a Consultation Digest was produced which presented the three Trunk Road options which had been selected as suitable for further evaluation and described the land use concepts which had been developed for these three options.  A recommendation was made that Option A should be carried forward for evaluation and refinement in further detailed assessment studies.

10.4.2      The study findings and recommendations were presented at a number of public consultation forums over the period December 1999 to March 2000, at which views on the development proposals were obtained from a wide range of interested and concerned parties.

10.4.3      Views of the public and concerned parties were obtained at the following presentations and forums:

·                     presentation to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) on 29 December 1999;

·                     presentation to the Hong Kong, China Rowing Association on 4 January 2000;

·                     Public Consultation Forum on 1 February 2000;

·                     presentation to the LegCo Panel on Planning, Land and Works on 24 February 2000;

·                     presentation to the Town Planning Board on 10 March 2000;

·                     presentation to the Wan Chai District Council on 21 March 2000;

·                     presentation to the Eastern District Council on 23 March 2000.

10.4.4      At all stages of the consultation process, Option A was supported over the alternative Options D and G.  A commonly expressed opinion was that the waterfront development proposals provided an innovative and attractive environment, which was a significant improvement over the existing situation.  Nevertheless, a number of concerns were expressed by various parties covering a range of different aspects of the Trunk Road and waterfront development proposals.  Issues raised were commonly focussed on the following specific areas of concern:

·                     the extent of reclamation;

·                     access to the waterfront;

·                     the facilities provided on the waterfront.

·                     the alignment of the Trunk Road and the form of construction;

·                     environmental aspects, in particular water quality;

10.4.5      The views received from the concerned parties have been grouped together under these categories and summarised below.

Extent of reclamation

10.4.6      Whilst there was general support for reclamation for the provision of key transport infrastructure and facilities, and for improvements to the environment such as removal of ‘dead’ corners with poor water quality and diversion of outfalls outside the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter, there was a commonly expressed concern that the extent of reclamation should be kept to a minimum.  The Protection of the Harbour Ordinance presumes against reclamation unless it can be justified.  On the other hand, the development of the waterfront should meet the community’s needs and aspirations, and should satisfy the Town Planning Board’s Vision Statement for Victoria Harbour.

10.4.7      The Town Planning Board expressed general support for and appreciation of the waterfront proposals of Option A, including the proposed Harbour Park, but noted that the extent of reclamation will need to be justified.  Likewise, the LegCo Panel supported the Option A proposals in general, with the proviso that the extent of reclamation should be minimised and would have to be refined in the detailed studies during the next stage.

10.4.8      The Wan Chai District Council passed a motion to oppose any reclamation to be carried out within Victoria Harbour and therefore the three options put forward for consultation were considered to be totally unacceptable.  The Eastern District Council passed a motion to support Option A with appropriate modifications to take into account the views of the council members.

10.4.9      The principal area of concern was the proposed Harbour Park.  Whilst several parties supported the extension of Victoria Park to the Harbour, liked the idea of the Harbour Park as innovative and creative and cited it to be a very attractive open space in the urban area, there was an opposing viewpoint from many other parties that the creation of the island on the existing typhoon shelter breakwater was not warranted.

Access to the waterfront

10.4.10   Pedestrian access was considered very important if the waterfront is to attract people and function as intended.  The existing connections to the waterfront area are very poor and, given the barrier formed by the roads between the waterfront and the hinterland, there were several queries as to the adequacy of the proposed pedestrian links.

10.4.11   Whilst acknowledging the physical constraints limiting connections in addition to those already indicated on the development proposals, opinions were expressed that the use of the linkages as shown must be maximised.

Waterfront facilities

10.4.12   In general, there was support for a continuous promenade along the waterfront and the proposed marine theme for waterfront activities.  It was agreed that the marinas would provide a high interest focus, with the desire expressed by some parties for the inclusion of floating dining facilities, which used to be an integral part of the typhoon shelter, to revitalise the area.

10.4.13   Several parties expressed the view that there must be sufficient activities on the waterfront to attract people.  Attractions such as waterfront retail and dining facilities, a public square, museum, market places, etc, and integration with adjacent commercial development, are considered necessary to help draw pedestrian traffic to the waterfront and create an active and attractive waterfront for locals and tourists, with a vibrant atmosphere.

10.4.14   There were, however, some contrary views in respect of the facilities proposed, with some parties expressing a minority opinion that it was not necessary to provide all the proposed facilities on this waterfront and that the waterfront development proposals should be reduced in scale.  On the other hand, there were some queries as to why additional water-sport facilities (e.g. a dragon boat racing course) could not be provided to add to the recreational attraction of the waterfront.

10.4.15   The role of the Harbour Museum was questioned by some, in respect of possible conflict with other proposals for maritime museums elsewhere in the territory.

10.4.16   The proposed hotel development was also questioned, in respect of whether it was the most appropriate form of development for the selected location and the effect that a high rise development would have at that location.

10.4.17   The proposed Harbour Park was particularly contentious.  While some expressed a liking for extending the Park right down to the Harbour front, with access to boat moorings, spectacular views and the creation of an activity node separated from the roads, there was a large lobby which linked the creation of the Harbour Park to the ‘unjustified reclamation’ issue and therefore did not support this concept.

Trunk Road alignment / form of construction

10.4.18   The majority viewpoint was that Option A was the preferred Trunk Road option.  However, there were queries as to why a full tunnel option had not been considered.

10.4.19   There were some contrary views that elevated structures should be adopted for the Trunk Road, similar to the existing Island Eastern Corridor, in order to minimise the extent of reclamation.

10.4.20   It was suggested that, as the elevated portion of the Trunk Road will be visually prominent from the Harbour, it should be designed to provide an attractive form of structure.

Addressing the Views on the Development Proposals

10.4.21   The following paragraphs outline the manner in which the concerns raised during the public consultation process have been addressed in the development proposals.

Extent of reclamation

10.4.22   The Trunk Road Options Study has identified that reclamation is required to provide land for the construction of the Trunk Road.  Opportunities can be taken to improve the water quality within Victoria Harbour by reclaiming the ‘dead’ corners, and to construct a waterfront promenade of international standard for the enjoyment of public and tourists.  Further, any reclamation within Victoria Harbour has already been subject to the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance.

10.4.23   The extent of reclamation in the land use proposals is considered to represent, in general, the minimum extent.  Reclamation has been introduced for a number of essential purposes: to create land for the Trunk Road construction, to eliminate areas of water quality concern, to reprovision existing facilities and to provide for what is regarded as a minimum desirable width promenade.  The extent of reclamation as presented in the land use proposals is the result of providing for these requirements; there is no “excessive” area of reclamation.

10.4.24   The Harbour Park has been deleted from the proposals.

 Access to the waterfront

10.4.25   The eight above ground pedestrian linkages (plus the underground pedestrian link to Exhibition Station) provided along the Wan Chai and Causeway Bay waterfront represent the maximum number of practical connections that can be made, given the constraints of the existing and planned road systems. (Locations of the pedestrian linkages are shown on Figure 10.8.)  The direct connections to the ferry piers, public square and promenade from Wan Chai, to the central part of the waterfront through the proposed hotel/retail development linking back into the Causeway Bay business district, and the wide connections bringing Victoria Park directly to the waterfront, are considered to provide adequate linkage to the waterfront, including provision for high pedestrian movements during times of festivals, etc.  The proposals represent a significant improvement over the existing situation.

Waterfront facilities

10.4.26   The waterfront proposals include a public square for festival activities if desired, small retail outlets and restaurants / tea-rooms / coffee shops along the promenade, a museum, hotel/retail complex, marina and open areas for informal markets, etc, as well as an attractive environment for walking or sitting out.  As such, the proposals are in agreement with the majority view that such activities must be provided for.  The view that the scale of the promenade development is too large is refuted.

10.4.27   The proposed Harbour Museum is intended to focus on the history and role of Victoria Harbour during the development of Hong Kong.  This would not be in direct conflict with the intentions of other maritime museum proposals, for example the proposed Aberdeen maritime museum, which are intended to be more generally maritime and shipping orientated. 

10.4.28   The suggested hotel development site (WDII/28) could be a retail-related development instead of, or in conjunction with, a hotel.  Its primary objective is to act as a nodal point to provide a connection from Causeway Bay, through the World Trade Centre, to the waterfront.  The proposed Leisure and Entertainment Complex (WDII/30) will also play a strategic role in enhancing connectivity between Victoria Park and the waterfront.

10.4.29   The possibility of incorporating public water-sport activities along the waterfront was examined but found to be impractical, given the constraints of insufficient water area and adjacent marine activities such as the cross harbour ferry services.  The yacht club and marina will, however, provide a marine activity node.  It has been found in other parts of the world, with no reason to think otherwise in Hong Kong, that many people enjoy walking in and around marinas and viewing boating activity, even if they are not taking an active part of the activity.

Trunk Road alignment / form of construction

10.4.30   The Trunk Road alignment for Option A has been derived with due consideration of all physical, geometric and operational constraints.  Full tunnel options have been considered but found not to be feasible on the grounds of engineering and construction risk, risk of damage to the Cross Harbour Tunnel, road connectivity requirements, costs and operational risks.

10.4.31   It should be noted that the Trunk Road will be in tunnel through the western part of the study area, but needs to rise on elevated structure to connect to the Island Eastern Corridor at the eastern end.

10.4.32   The alignment and form of construction presented represents the best feasible and practicable manner in which the Trunk Road can be extended from Central to connect to the elevated Island Eastern Corridor.  Design of the road will be carried out with the intention of creating an attractive structure, so as to mitigate visual impacts.

Environmental aspects

10.4.33   The design of the waterfront has incorporated measures to eliminate, or at least reduce as much as possible, the areas of poor water quality.  The ‘dead’ corners at the HKCEC and in the typhoon shelter have been eliminated and the coastline smoothed out.  It is the intention that the existing drainage out-falls in the typhoon shelter will be diverted to discharge outside the basin.  Buffers have been introduced along the Trunk Road to counter air and noise quality impacts.

10.5     Baseline Review of the Existing Environment

Landscape Context of Study Area

10.5.1   The Study Area is bordered by the following elements:-

·         Northern Boundary - views to the north are dominated by Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon peninsula.  The harbour resource lends the site an open character which varies according to climate and visibility;

·         Eastern Boundary – dense urban development of a high rise nature extends along the eastern boundary of the Study Area, providing a backdrop to Victoria Park.   Development is characterised by modern commercial and office buildings, including the Victoria Centre and Citicorp Centre, to the north and older medium rise residential building extending to the south.   Land rises steeply behind the eastern boundary to Lin Fa Kung Hill and Tai Hang;

·         Southern Boundary - an ‘urban wall’ of high rise developments along the southern edge of Gloucester Road provides a robust backdrop to the site, allowing limited visual permeability to the streetscapes of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay directly behind.  The urban structure is characterised by older medium rise residential buildings with taller more modern commercial in-fill development, such as the Sino Plaza and World Trade Centre; and

·         Western Boundary – developments on the western boundary are interspersed with a network of open spaces leading to a visually permeable interface with Admiralty and Central districts.   Landmarks of note are the PLA Headquarter at Tamar and the City Hall complex and ferry piers beyond.

Physical Landscape Resources

10.5.2   The baseline landscape characteristics are mapped in Figures 10.2 and 10.3.  Photo views illustrating the landscape and visual characteristics are illustrated in Figures 10.4 to 10.7.

Landform

10.5.3   The study area generally comprises flat reclaimed land.  The only topographical feature of note is:

·         LR1 – Natural Coastline at the RHKYC at Kellett Island.

10.5.4   This approximately 100m long rocky foreshore is the sole remaining stretch of natural coastline between Kennedy Town and Chai Wan and, as such, it also has some minor historical interest.  There will be no direct impact on the natural foreshore.

Drainage

10.5.5      Apart of Victoria Harbour itself, there are no natural drainage or water features in the Study Area.  All stormwater drainage is culverted and the existing and proposed culverts are a significant constraint on potential landscape development.

·         LR1A – Victoria Harbour.

10.5.6      The harbour itself is a valuable physical resource and is the one of the key primary elements that generate the unique landscape and visual identity and character of Hong Kong.  The “Harbour” area, defined according to the original Protection of Harbour Ordinance, is the area between the Western Harbour Crossing in the west, and the line joining the Hung Hom Ferry Pier and North Point Ferry Pier in the east.  This represents an area of approximately 700 hectares.  (The boundaries of this “Central  Harbour” area are indicated in Figure 10.17.)

Open Space and Vegetation

10.5.7      There are several open spaces and amenity areas which provide active and passive recreation opportunities, and which contain areas of existing vegetation which are considered to enhance the landscape and visual quality of the Study Area.  These areas are recorded in Figure 10.2 and are described below.

·         LR2 - Academy Podium Garden

10.5.8      The Academy Podium Garden (~0.9ha) is a split-level space containing a water feature, and small open air amphitheatre, with substantial quantities of semi-mature tree planting at grade and along the public footpath adjacent to Gloucester Road.  The trees are an important element in diffusing the elevated Fenwick Pier Street flyover from the passive amenity space within the garden.  Species are primarily Hibiscus and Macaranga spp in the garden and Aleurites moluccana along the public footpath adjacent to Gloucester Road.  There are totally approximately 50 trees, none of which will be affected by the works.  The garden will not be directly affected by the works.

·         LR3 - Fenwick Pier Street Public Open Space

10.5.9      The public open space (~0.7ha) adjacent to the MTRC ventilation building on Fenwick Pier Street is laid out in the style of a conventional Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) garden, with covered seating, raised planters and a children’s play area.   Trees within the garden are reaching maturity and comprise Casuarina equisetifolia along the interface with Fenwick Pier Street, and Macaranga and Ficus spp in the garden interior.  Whilst the garden seems to be under-utilised in terms of visitors, it is well maintained and provides a valuable green space at the junction of Fenwick Pier Street with Convention Avenue. The open space will be demolished to create a new traffic interchange.  It contains approximately 90 trees, all of which will be affected by the works.

·         LR4 - Grand Hyatt Hotel Public Podium Plaza

10.5.10   The public plaza (~0.9ha) adjacent to the Grand Hyatt Hotel boasts sculptures, lawn areas, covered seating and a central water feature.  The garden will not be directly affected by the works.  Tree planting is limited due to the podium nature of the space and comprises, predominantly, Hibiscus spp and Melaleuca leucadendron, with approximately 170 trees in total, none of which will be affected by the works.  The garden is elevated above Harbour Road and Convention Avenue, limiting inward views from ground level.   The garden is an important visual element, however, for VSRs located in surrounding buildings.

·         LR5 - Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Promenade and Approach Roads

10.5.11   Vegetation surrounding the HKCEC is generally not mature but is beginning to provide a useful green interface between the extensive hardworks surrounding the development and the harbour edge.  The local open space along the waterfront at the north end of the HKCEC (~1.35ha) is a popular resource with both local people and visitors and is well used by fishermen.  Only the western and eastern extremities (~0.2ha) of this promenade will be directly affected by the works which proposes extension and enhancement of the promenade to the east and west.  The promenade tree planting is primarily composed of Ficus and Hibiscus spp, with shrubs and groundcover beneath, whilst the approach roads are limited to predominantly Macaranga spp.   There are totally about 215 trees, of which about 70 will be affected by the works, (all in the approach roads, not the local open space).

·         L6 - Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Eastern Boundary Landscaping

10.5.12The small open space (~0.2ha) at the eastern boundary of the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel is set back from Fleming Road behind raised planters and contains a wide paved space with a water feature.  The open space would not be directly affected by the proposed works.  The planters are stocked with semi-mature Ficus microcarpa, the crowns of which have merged in places to form a valuable screen between the hotel lobby and the busy road.  There are approximately 37 trees, none of which will be affected by the proposed road works along the northern edge of the area next to Convention Avenue. 

·         LR7 - Central Plaza Open Space

10.5.13   Local open space (~0.43ha) wraps around Central Plaza on two sides. The open space contains a central fountain, a large sculpture, raised planters and seating, and will not be directly affected by the works.  Ficus microcarpa have been planted in tree grilles at grade and in raised planters with shrubs. The single species tree planting is effective in creating a buffer between the open space and the busy Gloucester Road and Fleming Road.  The trees are an important visual asset for VSRs in surrounding buildings and for pedestrians and passing motorists.  There are approximately 80 trees in the local open space and the adjacent paved areas, none of which will be affected by the works. 

·         LR8 - China Resources Building Garden

10.5.14   The garden (~0.54ha) adjacent to the China Resources Building is enclosed on three sides and separated from Harbour Road by a high wall.  This layout results in a secluded and sheltered space in an otherwise busy streetscape.  The garden is laid out in a traditional Chinese style with a central pool and cascade.  It will not be directly affected by the proposed works.  A variety of mature and semi-mature trees make the garden an important visual element for VSRs in surrounding buildings, though its principal quality is as peaceful amenity retreat for pedestrians. There are approximately 21 trees, none of which will be affected by the works.

·         LR9 - Gloucester Road Tree Planting including Cross Harbour Tunnel Entrance Area and Interchange Garden (LR9A)

10.5.15   Mature Aleurites moluccana line the northern edge of Gloucester Road located in raised planters adjacent to the China Resources Building, Sun Hung Kai Centre, and the Wan Chai Sports Ground.  The trees are of a generally uniform height and size and are of excellent health and amenity quality.  The Cross Harbour Tunnel Entrance Area contains Interchange Garden and several amenity areas with assorted trees, shrubs and palms.  However there is no overall structure to the planting which is too fragmented to provide a suitable landscape context for the roads. There are approximately 256 trees, none of which will be directly affected by the works.

·         LR10 - Tree Planting adjacent to Sewage Works, Hung Hing Road

10.5.16   Semi-mature roadside trees line the boundary of the sewage works on Hung Hing Road as it veers north on viaduct and crosses Wan Shing Street.  The trees are not uniformly spaced and lack an overall structure, but do provide important visual relief in an otherwise degraded setting.  Species consist predominantly of Aleurites moluccana and Ficus spp.  A small sitting out area has been placed beneath the elevated road on the eastern boundary of the sewage works, which is well maintained but appears to be under-utilised.  There are approximately 80 trees, all of which will be affected by the works.

·         LR11 - Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

10.5.17   There are two areas of trees at the Yacht Club, namely Ficus spp laid out in rows within the car park, and Ficus spp and palms planted on the northern boundary adjacent to the club house and restaurant.  The car park trees are of a semi-mature size and greatly reduce visual impacts from heavy traffic descending into the Cross Harbour Tunnel.  The trees also reduce the visual impact from the car park itself which comprises a substantial area of tarmacadam in a visually prominent position on the waterfront.  When viewed from buildings on the southern boundary of Gloucester Road, the Yacht Club vegetation provides a strong contrast with the unvegetated and visually intrusive Cargo Handling Basin to the west.  There are approximately 80 trees, of which approximately 60 will be affected by the works.

·         LR12 - Tree Planting to Southern Boundary of the Police Officers’ Club

10.5.18   In common with tree planting along Gloucester Road to the west the Aleurites spp planted along the southern and western boundaries of the Police Officers’ Club are mature, healthy specimens of high visual amenity.  Their location along the edge of the busy Canal Street East, as it descends to join Gloucester Road, makes the trees very visible to motorists.  They also provide a valuable visual buffer to the users of the Police Officers’ Club. There are approximately 20 trees, none of which will be affected by the works.

·         LR13 - Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Wharf

10.5.19   The Typhoon Shelter has a continuous public wharf along its southern boundary with Gloucester Road/ Victoria Park Road.  At the point where Gloucester Road veers to the south-west on elevated structure, the wharf becomes wider and accommodates mature and semi-mature tree planting.  The trees are primarily Macaranga spp, Cassia spp, Casuarina spp, and Aleurites spp.  Sitting out areas have been provided along the wharf with flowering shrubs and trees (e.g. Plumeria rubra) located in raised planters.  The trees along the wharf are an important greening element for the Victoria Park Road corridor and provide a soft visual interface with the waterfront.  There are approximately 45 trees, all of which will be affected by the works.

·         LR14 - Victoria Park

10.5.20   Victoria Park (portion north of Causeway Bay Road is ~19.3ha) is outside the Planning Study Area boundary but it would be affected by two proposed pedestrian linkages to the new promenade.  The exact area affected by the pedestrian linkages would depend on the detail design but could be expected to be in the order of 0.3ha.  The park contains approximately 2,500 trees within its bounds, most of which are located in the northern half of the park. There are a large number of mature trees at its northern boundary with Victoria Park Road.  These trees are an important visual resource for VSRs along Victoria Park Road and Gloucester Road and help to define the character of this eastern end of the Study Area.   There are several examples of the protected specie Ailanthus fordii in the north-west corner of the Park, one of which is a Champion Tree.  There are several other Champion trees in the northern end of the Park, including two Washingtonia robusta, one Taxodium distichum and fifteen Roystonia regia.  Views from the Park into the Study Area are largely screened by vegetation, though there remains a negative visual impact from heavy westbound traffic on the IEC.   Trees in the north end of the park number several hundred, of which approximately 20 will be affected by the proposed pedestrian linkages.  None of the Champion Trees or the trees protected under the Forestry Ordinance will be affected by the works.

·         LR15 – Harcourt Garden

10.5.21   Harcourt Garden (~1.5ha) is a public open space built on top of an underground car park and opened in 1992.  It contains several mature trees around the periphery, which predate the Garden, plus substantial areas of tree and shrub planting dating from the construction of the Garden. There are approximately 450 trees.  Harcourt Garden will not be affected by the works.

·         LR16 – Wan Chai Sports Ground

10.5.22   This is a major recreational facility (~2.5ha) with high landscape value. This facility, combined with the adjacent indoor sports centre and training pool to the west, is a major landscape node which should be reinforced in any future development.  It is an attraction which may, in future, draw pedestrian movement in an east-west direction along the waterfront.  It would not be directly impacted by the works.  There are approximately 43 trees, none of which will be affected by the works.

·         LR20 – Street trees along Convention Avenue and Hung Hing Road

10.5.23   There are approximately 56 street trees located along Convention Avenue and Hung Hing Road, all of which will be affected by the works.

·         LR21 – Cleveland Street Local Open Space

10.5.24   This is a small local open space (0.3ha) on the east side the westbound slip road from Victoria Park Road and connected to Victoria Park.  The space would not be affected by the works.   There are approximately 38 trees located in the space, none of which will be affected.

·         LR22 – Topsoil in all planted areas

10.5.25   The topsoil in all the above mentioned landscape areas constitutes a landscape resource that will be conserved and re-used where appropriate.

Cultural and Recreational Landscape Resources

10.5.26   In addition to the resources identified above, there are several additional cultural and recreational landscape resources that exist within the Study Area.  These are mapped in Figure 10.2 and include the following:

·         LR17 – Noon Day Gun

10.5.27   The old cannon-guns in this small open space (0.05ha) are of historic and cultural interest and are a minor tourist attraction, although they currently very difficult for tourists to find.  The space will be directly impacted by the works and is proposed to be relocated to the new waterfront.

·         LR18 – Floating Tin Hau Temple

10.5.28   This is located in Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter and is of historic and cultural interest.  It will be directly affected by the Works.

·         LR19 - Typhoon Shelter

10.5.29   This provides moorings for many boats, including yachts and cruisers associated with the Yacht Club, and is an area of very high landscape value.  The character of the  'marina' is a major visual focus in the area.   It will be affected by the Works.

Landscape and Visual Character Zones

10.5.30   Several landscape and visual character zones have been identified within the Study Area.  These are described below and illustrated in Figure 10.3.

·         LZ1 - Fleet Arcade / Wan Chai West Sewage Screening Plant

10.5.31   The low-rise development of the Servicemen’s Guides Association Building, commonly referred to as the Fleet Arcade, is of low visual amenity and does not dominate the surrounding space.   The site has direct access to the waterfront which is currently used as a sitting out terrace for a McDonald’s restaurant.  Adjacent to the three-storey building to the east is the Wan Chai West Sewage Screening Plant. 

·         LZ2 - The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA)

10.5.32   This zone is occupied primarily with the HKAPA building and its garden area and car park.  The HKAPA is a medium rise development with largely windowless facades which is visually dominated by a blue steel frame on its western facade.  A raised walled garden extends to the west which contains a small amphitheatre, hard paving and tree planting.

·         LZ3 - Fenwick Pier Street Public Open Space

10.5.33   This small open space is primarily paved.  Tree and shrub planting are provided in raised planters. Some street furniture items such as benches are also present.  This space offers good views out over the Harbour to the Kowloon peninsula.

·         LZ4 - The HKCEC Open Space

10.5.34   This is a podium sculpture garden on top of a car park which is accessible to the public.  It comprises raised planters, grass areas and tree planting.  Paved pathways meander through the space.  Good views are afforded over the harbour.  The garden space also enhances the amenity of the Grand Hyatt entry and lobby.

·         LZ5 - The HKCEC, Grand Hyatt / Renaissance Harbour View Hotels

10.5.35   This is a block development occupying an entire city block.  It is a visually dominating structure of glass and brown granite.  Its huge scale provides a backdrop to the new HKCEC Extension.  Its block like form contrasts with the curves of the HKCEC Extension structure.  Together, these structures visually define the western end of the Study Area, and provide visually impermeable mass which blocks views to the south.

·         LZ5A - Renaissance Harbour View Plaza

10.5.36   This is a paved forecourt space with groves of fig trees and lawns.  Some seating areas are provided beneath the tree canopies, the majority of which are located in raised planters.  Narrow water features extend around the edge of the hotel facade.

·         LZ6 - The HKCEC Extension

10.5.37   The HKCEC Extension is the visual focus of Hong Kong Harbour.  It dominates the Hong Kong Island north-shore.  Its form and unusual roof, combined with glass and light coloured stone facade create an attractive defining form within the Study Area.

·         LZ6A – The HKCEC Extension Open Space

10.5.38   This area primarily comprises a public promenade extending around the entire perimeter of the HKCEC Extension.  This is a wide paved promenade with tree palm and shrub planting.  It provides important public access to the harbour edge and is used for strolling, fishing and general passive recreation activities. This space also includes a ferry pier and plazas containing commemorative 'Handover' sculptures.  The space also functions as a visual platform for the building.  The seawall comprises custom steel railings mounted upon a curved granite foot wall above a sloping granite rock armoured wall.  The HKTA has recently conducted a study to identify uses which could be employed to enliven the northern tip of the Open Space.

·         LZ7 - Government Towers / Shui On Centre

10.5.39   This zone comprises three Government tower blocks, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) block, Telecom House, the Hong Kong Arts Centre and Shui On Centre. The three Government towers (the Wan Chai, Revenue and Immigration Towers) are dark, imposing buildings visually dominating the area, due to their overall height and mirror glass facades, set against black cladding.

·         LZ7A - Government Tower Plaza

10.5.40   The three Government Towers define the plaza/forecourt which is an important passive recreation space comprising paving, water features, sculptures and tree planting.  The plaza is busy through out the day and is used by office staff and visitors.

·         LZ8 - Central Plaza

10.5.41   This is currently the tallest building in Hong Kong and dominates the Hong Kong Island skyline.  It is a highly recognisable form and is seen as a visual landmark.

·         LZ8A - Central Plaza Open Space

10.5.42   This is an attractive plaza space primarily functioning as a forecourt to Central Plaza. It a large area paved with homogenous tiles and a cascading water feature in its centre.  Vegetation is characterised by dense fig tree planting mainly in raised planters with shrubs and ground cover.  The vegetation is well maintained and provides important visual relief from the surrounding hard surface.

 

·         LZ9 - China Resources Building / Sun Hung Kai Centre

10.5.43   This zone comprises of a number of office buildings and three older residential blocks.  The China Resources Building has some wide podium-top deck areas which are important for pedestrian circulation and passive recreation.  The Sun Hung Kai Centre is visually dominating with a dark glass facade and white edges.  Pedestrian links are provided to adjacent developments above street level.

·         LZ9A - China Resources Building Chinese Garden

10.5.44   This is a quiet, walled Chinese style garden at street level, offering quiet shaded seating areas beneath pergolas, gazebos and trees.  Its design concept is based on a traditional Chinese Garden with water, in the form of ponds and a waterfall cascade, as the focal element.

·         LZ10 - Great Eagle Centre / Harbour Centre

10.5.45   The Great Eagle Centre consists of a dark twin tower development on podium.  Of particular note are the large advertising signs occupying the harbour front facade of the podium.  These are prominent structures and can be seen from the harbour and from Kowloon.

·         LZ11 - Public Transport Interchange (PTI)

10.5.46   This bus interchange is a busy, concrete hardstand area which generally is not a comfortable pedestrian environment.  Of particular note are the overhead walkways linking the Wan Chai Ferry Pier and Harbour Centre.  Their red roofs and blue steel box frames make them a visually striking element in this zone.

·         LZ12 - The Wan Chai Indoor Sports Hall and Swimming Complex

10.5.47   This is a public recreation complex consisting of a low rise hall and outdoor training pool.  The ground floor on the Harbour Road side is set within an attractively planted garden and car park.

·         LZ13 - Wan Chai Ferry Pier

10.5.48   The Wan Chai Ferry Pier consists of a pier structure of a similar style to the Central Star Ferry Pier.  It is an important transport node, which, in conjunction with the adjacent Public Transport Interchange across the road, creates a very active space.

·         LZ14 - Wan Chai Sports Ground

10.5.49   The Wan Chai Sports Ground is the largest open area within the Study Area.  Although access and use is controlled and limited, it allows open air space above which contrasts with the surrounding built up development and allows views across the Study Area from developments to the west and south.

·         LZ15 - Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Building and Utilities 

10.5.50   This zone consists of a number of small buildings and utility structures occupying two small blocks.  Its main landscape asset are the trees, many of which are mature, which are scattered around the perimeter of the development.

·         LZ16 - Cross Harbour Tunnel Interchange

10.5.51   This zone consists of intersecting multi-lane roadways divided by areas of open amenity space.  Most of this open space consists of grass areas and shrub patterning.  Access to these areas is limited to the central garden (Zone 16A described below); other areas are inaccessible to the public. 

·         LZ16A - Interchange Garden

10.5.52   This zone consists of the central garden within the Cross Harbour Tunnel interchange Area.  It is accessible from overhead walkways and provides an attractive passive park with a central waterwall.  Its position in the middle of the interchange limits its value as an open space, but it is an attractive, if fleeting, visual element to motorists and provides some visual interest to VSRs in buildings located along the southern edge of Gloucester Road.

·         LZ17 - Wan Chai Public Cargo Working Area

10.5.53   This zone comprises a hardstand wharf area and a small enclosed waterway.  Many small cargo craft are present and the wharf area is generally covered with loading plant and vehicles and cargo containers.  Whilst the boats and activity make interesting viewing, the area is generally unsightly, and has been fenced off with tall steel railings.  The facility is to be relocated to Chai Wan.

·         LZ18 - The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC)

10.5.54   The RHKYC consists of a small building with maritime references with surrounding terraces, pool court and car park.  The car park and terrace areas contain some significant tree planting.  Much of the site is taken up with hardstand for the boat service area.  Of particular significance is the fact that this site has one of the last remaining areas of natural coastline on the Harbour waterfront and was originally an island (Kellett Island) accessed by boat from Causeway Bay.

·         LZ19 - The Police Officers’ Club

10.5.55   This complex consists of a number of linked buildings with an outdoor pool, tennis courts and car park area.  This area also has several mature trees on its perimeter.  A line of mature trees is located along the club boundary with Gloucester Road which are an effective greening element within a busy vehicular corridor.

·         LZ20 - The Noon Day Gun and Typhoon Shelter Edge

10.5.56   This zone consists of a narrow paved promenade stretching alongside the typhoon shelter waterfront.  Of particular significance are the Noon Day Gun and the existing mature trees located between the promenade path and Victoria Park Road.  Due to the location of the Noon Day Gun, this small area is a recognised land mark and visitor destination.

·         LZ21 - The Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter

10.5.57   The Typhoon Shelter offers mooring for many craft including yachts, cruisers, sampans and 'junks'.  It has a high value as an area of visual interest.  Its 'marina' style atmosphere makes it a significant area within the Study Area.  The vent structure associated with the cross harbour tunnel and located adjacent to the yacht club is unattractive and visually dominating.

·         LZ22 - Shipyard and Fire Station

10.5.58   This zone comprises a shipyard, fire station, an electrical substation and residual water area of the Typhoon Shelter.  This zone is visually separated from the rest of the typhoon shelter by the overhead road structure of the Island Eastern Corridor (IEC).  Some significant mature trees also exist in this zone.

·         LZ23 - Gloucester Road / Victoria Park Road

10.5.59   This is a major road with little pedestrianised streetscape.  It forms the southern boundary of the Study Area.  It is a busy dual-3 lane highway with fast moving vehicles and numerous slip lanes and is generally not a comfortable pedestrian space.  It is a major artery for the Central and Wan Chai areas.  Despite the lack of space set aside for landscaping, Gloucester Road maintains some important tree planting notably along its central reservation and within pavement areas adjacent to the China Resource Building and Sun Hung Kai Centre.

·         LZ24 - Harbour Road

10.5.60   This is a smaller road with wider footpaths and some streetscape atmosphere.  This road extends from Wan Chai through to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts servicing the adjacent developments.  Street tree planting is generally immature but is beginning to provide a useful greening effect along this corridor.

·         LZ25 - Convention Avenue

10.5.61   Convention Avenue runs between the HKCEC and its Extension providing a loop with Harbour Road.  The avenue benefits from an adjacent sitting out area along its northern edge.

·         LZ26 - Fleming Road

10.5.62   Fleming Road is dominated by the viaduct structure which rises to cross Gloucester Road to the south.  There has been some tree planting carried out along the pavements and within the central reservation but this area is uncomfortable for pedestrians due to high traffic volumes and numerous road junctions.

·         LZ27 - Tonnochy Road

10.5.63   Tonnochy Road is dominated by the Sun Hung Kai Centre and the Wan Chai Sports Ground.  The road is elevated as it links with Gloucester Road.

·         LZ28 - Marsh  and Hung Hing Roads / Wan Shing Street

10.5.64   These roads do not have a welcoming pedestrian environment due to the light industrial nature of adjacent land, large numbers of heavy goods vehicles and narrow footpaths.  This particular part of the Study Area has a run down atmosphere partly mitigated in places by street tree and amenity planting.

·         LZ29 - Victoria Harbour

10.5.65   The harbour resource is defined by Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula and is characterised by craft including ‘Star’ ferries, private vessels, cargo ships, and cruise ships.  Access to the southern harbour edge for passive recreation is limited to the Fenwick Pier McDonalds terrace, the HKCEC Extension promenade, the Yacht Club, and the Noon Day Gun.  The harbour is the visual focus for north and south facing development on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula respectively.  In turn, it is dominated by these urban skylines.

Landscape Sensitivity to Change

10.5.66   The landscape resources and landscape character zones that will be affected during the construction phase and operation phase, together with their sensitivity to change, are listed in Table 10.2, and illustrated in Figures 10.2 and 10.3 respectively.  For ease of reference and co-ordination between text, tables and figures, each landscape resource is given an identity number.

Table 10.2    List of the Landscape Resources affected during Construction and Operation Phases

Identity No. of Landscape Resource

Landscape Resource / Landscape Character Zone

Sensitivity to Change

(Low, Medium, High)

LR1

Natural Rocky Coastline at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

High

LR1A

Victoria Harbour

High

LR2

Academy Podium Garden

High

LR3

Fenwick Pier Street Public Open Space

High

LR4

Grand Hyatt Hotel Public Podium Plaza

High

LR5

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Promenade and Approach Roads

High

LR6

Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Eastern Boundary Landscaping

High

LR7

Central Plaza Open Space

High

LR8

China Resources Building Garden

High

LR9

Gloucester Road Tree Planting including Harbour Tunnel Entrance Area

High

LR9A

Interchange Garden

High

LR10

Tree Planting adjacent to Sewage Works, Hung Hing Road

Medium

LR11

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

High

LR12

Tree Planting to Southern Boundary of the Police Officers’ Club

High

LR13

Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Wharf

High

LR14

Victoria Park

High

LR15

Harcourt Garden

High

LR16

Wanchai Sports Ground

High

LR17

Noon Day Gun

High

LR18

Floating Tin Hau Temple

High

LR19

Typhoon Shelter

Medium

LR20

Street trees along Convention Avenue and Hung Hing Road

Medium

LR21

Cleveland Street Local Open Space

High

LR22

Topsoil in all planter areas

Medium

LZ1

Fleet Arcade / Wan Chai West Sewage Screening Plant

High

LZ2

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA)

High

LZ3

Fenwick Pier Street Public Open Space

High

LZ4

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Open Space

High

LZ5

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Grand Hyatt / Renaissance Harbour View Hotels

High

LZ5A

Renaissance Harbour View Plaza

High

LZ6

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension

High

LZ6A

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension Open Space

High

LZ7

Government Towers / Shui On Centre

High

LZ7A

Government Tower Plaza

High

LZ8

Central Plaza

High

LZ8A

Central Plaza Open Space

High

LZ9

China Resources Building / Sun Hung Kai Centre

High

LZ9A

China Resources Building Chinese Garden

High

LZ10

Great Eagle Centre / Harbour Centre

High

LZ11

Public Transport Interchange (PTI)

Low

LZ12

The Wan Chai Indoor Sports Hall and Swimming Complex

Medium

LZ13

Wan Chai Ferry Pier

Medium

LZ14

Wan Chai Sports Ground

High

LZ15

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Building and Utilities

Medium

LZ16

Cross Harbour Tunnel Interchange

Medium

LZ16A

Interchange Garden

Medium

LZ17

Wan Chai Cargo Handling Area

Low

LZ18

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC)

High

LZ19

The Police Officers’ Club

High

LZ20

The Noon Day Gun and Typhoon Shelter Edge

High

LZ21

The Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter

Medium

LZ22

Shipyard and Fire Station

Low

LZ23

Gloucester Road / Victoria Park Road

Medium

LZ24

Harbour Road

Medium

LZ25

Convention Avenue

Medium

LZ26

Fleming Road

Medium

LZ27

Tonnochy Road

Medium

LZ28

Marsh  and Hung Hing Roads / Wan Shing Street

Medium

LZ29

Victoria Harbour

High

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zone of Visual Influence (ZVI)

10.5.67   The Primary ZVIs will differ between each of the three Designated Projects and the Schedule 3 Project.  However, each project will share a common Secondary ZVI which is defined by the central ridgeline of Hong Kong Island.  Figures 10.9 and 10.10 show the Primary ZVI and Primary VSRs for DPI: Reclamation Works in the construction and operation phases respectively.  Figures 10.11 and 10.12 show the Primary ZVI and Primary VSRs for DP2: Major Roads in the construction and operation phases respectively.  Figures 10.13 and 10.14 show the Primary ZVI and Primary VSRs for DP3: Kellett Island Marina in the construction and operation phases respectively.  Figures 10.15 and 10.16 shows the Primary ZVI and Primary VSRs for Schedule 3 Project: WDII in the construction and operation phases respectively.  Figure 10.17 shows the Secondary ZVI and Secondary VSRs for all projects in the construction and operation phases.

Visually Sensitive Receivers (VSRs)

10.5.68   Table 10.3 lists the key VSRs found within the ZVIs.  For ease of reference, each VSR is given an identity number, which is used in all relevant tables and figures in this report.

Table 10.3    List of the Key Visually Sensitive Receivers (VSRs)

Identity No. of VSR*

Key Visually Sensitive Receivers (VSRs)

Sensitivity

(Low, Medium, High)

   Part 1 - Existing VSRs

C1

International Finance Centre

Medium

C2

Hong Kong Station Development Phase 2

Medium

C3

Exchange Square

Medium

C4

Jardine House

Medium

C5

Mandarin Hotel

High

C6

Hong Kong Club

High

C7

Ritz Carlton Hotel

High

C8

Furama Hotel

High

C9

Hutchison House

Medium

C10

Bank of America Tower

Medium

C11

Far East Financial Centre

Medium

C12

Admiralty Centre

Medium

C13

United Centre

Medium

C14

CITIC Tower

Medium

C15

Fleet Arcade

Medium

C16

Asian House

Medium

C17

Chung Nam Building

Medium

C18

Fleet House, Harcourt House

Medium

C19

Telecom House, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Harbour View International House

Medium

C20

Shui On Centre

Medium

C21

Central Plaza

Medium

C22

Grand Hyatt Hotel

High

C23

Renaissance Harbour View Hotel

High

C24

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Medium

C25

Great Eagle Centre

Medium

C26

Harbour Centre

Medium

C27

China Resources Building

Medium

C28

Sun Hung Kai Centre

Medium

C29

National Mutual Building

Medium

C30

Sino Plaza

Medium

C31

World Trade Centre

Medium

C32

Excelsior Hotel

High

C33

The Park Lane Hotel

High

C34

Windsor House

Medium

C35

19-31 Yee Wo Street

Medium

C36

Citicorp Centre

Medium

C37

Victoria Centre

Medium

C38

Ocean Terminal

Medium

C39

Star House

Medium

C40

Peninsula Hotel

High

C41

Sheraton Hotel

High

C42

Regent Hotel

High

C43

New World Centre and Hotel

High

C44

Wing On Plaza

Medium

C45

Shangri-La Hotel

High

C46

Tsim Sha Tsui Centre

Medium

C47

Empire Centre

Medium

C48

Grand Stanford Harbour View Hotel

High

C49

Nikko Hotel

High

C/R1

Causeway Centre

High

C/R2

160-169 Gloucester Road

High

C/R3

210-226 Gloucester Road

High

C/R4

Elizabeth House

High

C/R5

Riviera Mansion

High

C/R6

Prospect Mansion

High

C/R7

Miami Mansion

High

C/R8

Marco Polo Mansion

High

C/R9

Victoria Park Mansion

High

C/R10

Chesterfield Mansion

High

C/R11

Greenfield Mansion

High

C/R12

Properties fronting Causeway Road

High

C/R13

Park Towers

High

C/R14

Viking Garden

High

C/R15

50-52 Hing Fat Street

High

C/R16

Mayson Garden Building

High

C/R17

Garden House

High

C/R18

Belle House

High

C/R19

Top Glory Tower

High

C/R20

Hoi Kung Court

High

C/R21

Hoi To Court

High

C/R22

Hoi Deen Court

High

C/R23

Pacific Place Complex

High

GIC1

General Post Office

Low

GIC2

City Hall

High

GIC3

PLA Headquarters at Tamar

Low

GIC4

Hong Kong Police Force Headquarters, May House

Low

GIC5

Revenue Tower

Low

GIC6

Wan Chai Tower

Low

GIC7

Police Officers’ Club

High

GIC8

Queen’s College

Medium

GIC9

Hing Fat Street Post Office

Low

GIC10

Victoria Park School for the Deaf

Medium

GIC11

YMCA

High

O1

Fenwick Pier Street Public Open Space

High

O2

HKCEC Open Space

High

O3

HKCEC Extension Open Space and Promenade

High

O4

Renaissance Harbour View Plaza

High

O5

Central Plaza Open Space

High

O6

Wanchai Sports Ground

High

O7

Interchange Garden

High

O8

Victoria Park

High

O9

Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Promenade

High

O10

Hill-walkers in the Secondary ZVI on the north slopes of Hong Kong Island

High

OU1

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

High

R1

Residential Properties fronting Tung Lo Wan Road

High

R2

Residential Properties in the Secondary ZVI on the north slopes of Hong Kong Island

High

S1

Harbour Traffic

High

T1a

Wanchai North Road Network - vehicular

Low

T1b

Wanchai North Road Network - pedestrian

Medium

T2a

Gloucester Road Corridor - vehicular

Low

T2b

Gloucester Road Corridor - pedestrian

Medium

T3

Island Eastern Corridor

Low

   Part 2 - Planned VSRs which are part of the CRIII Development

O11

Planned Regional Open Space (CDE2)

High

OU2

Planned Waterfront Related Commercial and Leisure Uses (CDE4)

High

OU3

Planned Waterfront Related Commercial and Leisure Uses (CDE9)

High

C/R24

Planned CDA Development (CDE3)

High

GIC12

Planned Central Government Complex (CDE8)

Medium

GIC13

Planned Government Complex (CDE10)

Medium

   Part 3 - Planned VSRs which are part of WDII

C50

 Planned Commercial Development (WDII/4)

Medium

C51

 Planned Commercial Development (WDII/28)

Medium

C/R25

 Planned CDA Development (WDII/11)

High

GIC14

 Planned Harbour Museum (WDII/24)

High

GIC15

 Planned Indoor Swimming Pool (WDII/16)

Medium

O12

 Planned Waterfront Regional Open Space (WDII/1 - West of HKCEC)

High

O13

 Planned Waterfront Regional Open Space (WDII/1 - East of HKCEC)

High

O14

 Planned District Open Space (WDII/3)

High

O15

 Planned Local Open Space (WDII/8)

High

O16

 Planned Waterfront Regional Open Space (WDII/10) - Outdoor Event Space

High

O17

 Planned Regional Open Space (WDII/27) - Causeway Bay Open Space

High

OU4

 Planned Waterfront related Commercial and Leisure Uses (WDII/2 and WDII/5)

High

OU5

 Planned Waterfront Related Commercial and Leisure Uses (east - WDII/13 WDII/14 and WDII/17)

High

OU6

 Planned Leisure and Entertainment Complex (WDII/30)

High

T4

 Pedestrians in WDII

Medium

*  C = Commercial; C/R = Commercial/Residential; G/IC = Government/Institution/Community; O = Open space; OU = Other use; R = Residential; S = Sea-borne travellers; T = Transport related (land).

 

10.6       Designated Project 1 : Reclamation Works – Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

              Sources of Landscape and Visual Impacts for DP1 : Reclamation Works

              Construction Phase

10.6.1           Sources of impacts in the construction phase would include:

·         the physical reclamation itself;

·         the laying down of utilities, including water, drainage and power;

·         temporary site access areas, site cabins and heavy machinery;

·         construction site traffic on the reclamation;

·         increased road traffic congestion;

·         after dark lighting and welding; and

·         dust during dry weather.

10.6.2           The extent of the above works is indicated in Figure 10.9.

              Operation Phase

10.6.3           The sources of impacts of the project at the operational stage would be:

·         The proposed reclamation itself;

·         New typhoon shelter breakwater; and

·         Land uses on the reclamation.

  Nature and Magnitude of Impacts, before Mitigation, of DP1 : Reclamation Works

10.6.4           The landscape impacts before mitigation are described briefly below and detailed in Table 10.5 (columns 5 and 6).

Topography

10.6.5           There will be no impact on topography as the natural rocky coastline (LR1) at Hong Kong Club will be retained. 

Drainage

10.6.6           The works will require reclamation of some 28.5 ha of Victoria Harbour.  The total existing area of the “Harbour” area is approximately 700 ha.  The total change therefore constitutes a loss of around 4% of the defined existing “Harbour” area, which is considered a change of small magnitude.

 

Vegetation

10.6.7           There will be impact on existing vegetation in the following areas: HKCEC Promenade Open Space and Approach Roads (LR5) – approximately 70 trees affected (33%); Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Wharf (LR13) – approximately 45 trees affected (100%).

Soil

10.6.8           Associated with the loss of vegetation noted above, there will be an accompanying intermediate magnitude of impact on the topsoil resource (LR21).

Public Open Space

10.6.9           There will be large impacts on the Noon Day Gun and Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Wharf.

Landscape Character

10.6.10       There will large negative impacts on the landscape character zones along the existing harbour edge and in Victoria Harbour itself. 

              Landscape and Visual Mitigation Measures for DP1: Reclamation Works

              Construction Phase

10.6.11       Recommended landscape and visual mitigation measures for impacts caused during the construction process are described below.  Table 10.4 summarises the mitigation measures, together with the associated implementation agencies. 

10.6.12       Construction stage landscape and visual mitigation measures should include:

·         Hydroseeding of unoccupied reclaimed land to provide immediate greening effect until such time as the land is developed (CM1).

·         Minimisation of works areas (CM2).

·         Erection of decorative hoardings (CM3).

·         Control night-time lighting (CM4);

·         Minimisation of disruption to public by effective programming of the works (CM5).

·         Temporary re-provision of pedestrian access, where appropriate (CM6).

10.6.13       All construction stage mitigation measures should be implemented from the start of the construction period and be applied for the whole duration of the construction phase. All mitigation measures will be on-site.

              Operation Phase

10.6.14       The ultimate recommended landscape and visual mitigation measures for impacts caused during the operation phase are encapsulated in the Master Landscape Plan for WDII, which is described in detail in section 10.9 and illustrated in Figures 10.19, 10.20 and 10.21. These mitigation measures relate to the planned land uses on the reclamation, which itself is just the first step in the creation of WDII.  As such, the measures relate directly to the ultimate planned land use layout (Schedule 3 Development), and not to the reclamation works contract (DP2- Reclamation Works).

10.6.15       Therefore, in the DP2 - Reclamation Works contract(s), it is proposed that temporary landscape works (OM12) will be undertaken in the planned open space areas along the waterfront, until such time as the long term planned land uses are designed and built.   The extent of the temporary landscape should cover all reclaimed areas not otherwise required as temporary works areas for other WDII related projects.

Programme of Implementation of Mitigation Measures in Operation Phase

10.6.16       The interim landscape treatments (OM12) should be implemented in phases so that they are in place at the dates of completion of the various phases of the reclamation. 

Table 10.4    DP1 : Reclamation Works - Proposed Landscape Mitigation Measures in Construction and Operation Phases

ID

Mitigation Measure

Funding Agency

Implementation Agency

Management Agency

Maintenance Agency

Construction Phase

CM1

Hydroseed unoccupied areas to provide immediate greening effect

TDD

TDD’s Contractor

LCSD

LCSD

CM2

Minimise works areas

TDD

TDD’s Contractor

N/a

N/a

CM3

Erect decorative screen hoardings

TDD

TDD’s Contractor

N/a

N/a

CM4

Control night lighting

TDD

TDD’s Contractor

N/a

N/a

CM5

Minimisation of disruption to public by effective programming of the works

TDD

TDD’s Contractor

N/a

N/a

CM6

Temporary re-provision of pedestrian access, where appropriate

TDD

TDD’s Contractor

HyD

HyD

Operation Phase

Interim Landscape Treatments

OM12

Temporary landscape treatment of planned open space areas along waterfront until they are designed and developed

TDD

TDD

In accordance with WBTC 18/94

In accordance with WBTC 18/94

 

Prediction and Evaluation of Landscape Impacts for DP1 : Reclamation Works

10.6.17       An assessment of the potential significance of the landscape impacts during the construction and operational phases, before and after mitigation is provided in Table 10.5.  This follows the methodology outlined in Section 10.2 and assumes that the appropriate mitigation measures identified in Table 10.4 above would be implemented, and that the full effect of the soft landscape mitigation measures would be realised after ten years.

Construction Phase

Residual landscape impacts in the Construction Phase are mapped in Figure 10.24.

10.6.18       Adverse landscape impacts of substantial significance would be felt by:

·         HKCEC Promenade and Approach Roads (LR5), which would be directly affected by the reclamation works on the east and west sides of the HKCEC;

·         Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Wharf (LR13), Noon Day Gun (LR17), Floating Tin Hau temple (LR18) and Typhoon Shelter (LR19), which would all be disrupted by the reclamation and IECL; and

·         The landscape character zones LZ1, LZ3, LZ6A, LZ13, LZ18, LZ19, LZ20, LZ21, LZ25, and LZ29, each of which would suffer a large magnitude of change in landscape character due to the reclamation construction works.

10.6.19       Adverse landscape impacts of moderate significance would be felt by:

·         Victoria Harbour (LR1A); and

·         The landscape character zones LZ15, LZ17 and LZ22.

10.6.20       The remaining landscape impacts would be insubstantial as noted in Table 10.5.

 Operation Phase

10.6.21       As it is not the intention to carry out the reclamation without also implementing the long term planned land uses identified in the Schedule 3 Project - WDII, the assessment of the residual Operation Phase impacts after 10 years assumes that all the mitigation measures identified for the Schedule 3 Project – WDII have been implemented (refer to section 10.9).   On the other hand, the “Day 1” impacts are assessed on the basis that only the interim landscape treatments (OM12) directly associated with the DP2 – Reclamation works contracts have been implemented.

10.6.22       After all long term mitigation measures are implemented and have matured over 10 years, there would still be some residual adverse landscape impacts of moderate significance, which would be felt by:

·         The landscape character zone LZ19  - Police Officers Club, due to the reclamation and planned commercial development in site WDII/28 which would replace the typhoon shelter currently adjacent to the Club; and

·         The landscape character zone LZ22  - Shipyard and Fire Station, due to the reclamation and development of the Leisure Complex.

10.6.23       The remaining landscape impacts would be adverse impacts of slight or insubstantial significance, or beneficial impacts of slight or moderate significance as noted in Table 10.5.

 


Table 10.5       Schedule 2 DP1 – Reclamation Works - Significance of Landscape Impacts in the Construction and Operation Phases

(Adverse Impacts unless otherwise stated.  Only those resources potentially impacted by DP1 – Reclamation Works are tabulated)

Table 10.5

Identity No.

Landscape Resource /

Landscape Character

Sensitivity to Change        (Low, Medium, High)

Magnitude of Change        (Negligible, Small, Intermediate, Large)

Impact Significance before Mitigation  (Insubstantial, Slight, Moderate, Substantial)

Impact Significance Day 1 after Mitigation   (Insubstantial, Slight, Moderate, Substantial)

Impact Significance 10 years after Mitigation   (Insubstantial, Slight, Moderate, Substantial)

 

 

Construction

Operation

Construction

Operation

Construction

Operation

Construction

Operation

Operation

Part 1 – Physical Landscape Resources (Topography, Vegetation, Soil, Open Space, Special Features)

 

 

 

LR1

Natural Rocky Coastline at RHKYC

High

High

Negligible

Negligible

Insubstantial

Insubstantial

Insubstantial

Insubstantial

Insubstantial

LR1A

Victoria Harbour

High

High

Small

Small

Moderate

Slight

Moderate

Slight

Slight

LR3

Fenwick Pier Street Public Open Space

High

N/A

Negligible

N/A

Insubstantial

N/A

Insubstantial

N/A

N/A

LR5

HKCEC Promenade and Approach Roads

High

High

Large

Large

Substantial

Substantial

Substantial

Insubstantial

Slight Beneficial

LR11

RHKYC

High

High

Negligible

Negligible