1.1           Project Background

1.2           WDII Review

1.3           Harbour-Front Enhancement Review

1.4           Environmental Impact Assessment

1.5           Objectives and Scope of the EIA Study

1.6           Designated Projects under the EIAO

1.7           Relevant Approved EIA Reports

1.8           Structure of this Volume 3 – Part F




1                     INTRODUCTION


1.1              Project Background


1.1.1        Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII) is the conclusion of a number of planning studies commissioned by Government, covering transport infrastructure and development along the shoreline of Central and Wan Chai, that date back to the early 1980s.  The WDII project is undergoing a process of statutory town planning procedures and public consultation, in which there has been thorough public discussion on matters including the scale of reclamation and the usage of the land to be made available by the project.


1.1.2        The need for the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation was first identified in the strategic study on “Harbour Reclamations and Urban Growth” undertaken between March 1982 and October 1983.  The need was further confirmed in various planning studies, including the Territorial Development Strategy of 1984, the Port and Airport Development Strategy 1989, Metroplan 1991, and the Territorial Development Strategy Review of 1996.  The whole Central and Wan Chai Reclamation project forms land for the construction of, among other things, strategic transport links, associated surface road networks, the Airport Railway and its Hong Kong Station and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) Extension.  The Central Reclamation Phases I, II and the Wan Chai Reclamation Phase I were completed in 1997 to 1998.  Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) is currently under construction.  WDII is the final phase, and an integral part, of the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation.


1.1.3        The Wan Chai Development Phase II Comprehensive Feasibility Study (the WDIICFS) was commissioned by the then Territory Development Department in June 1999.  The main purpose of that assignment was to make provision for key transport infrastructure and facilities along the north shore of Hong Kong Island, in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay.  Under the WDIICFS, a Trunk Road layout was derived, comprising the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (CWB) running along the Wan Chai shoreline in tunnel, and the Island Eastern Corridor Link (IECL) running behind the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter (CBTS) on elevated roadway, connecting to the existing elevated Island Eastern Corridor (IEC).  New land was proposed along the Wan Chai and Causeway Bay shoreline, primarily for the construction of the Trunk Road and other key infrastructure, and also to provide an attractive waterfront with a new public promenade.  A total reclamation area of some 28.5 ha along the existing Wan Chai and Causeway Bay shorelines was envisaged under the WDIICFS, from the interface with the CRIII project on the west side of the HKCEC Extension, to the east of the CBTS.


1.1.4        The Trunk Road and the associated land use proposals for the WDII project were incorporated in a draft Wan Chai North Outline Zoning Plan No. S/H25/1 (the draft OZP) which was gazetted under the Town Planning Ordinance on 19 April 2002.  At the same time, the road works and reclamation proposed under the WDII project were gazetted under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance and Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations) Ordinance respectively.


1.1.5        Objections to the draft OZP were received and considered by the Town Planning Board, which decided to propose amendments to the draft OZP to meet or partially meet some of the objections after giving preliminary consideration and further consideration to the objections on 6 September 2002, and 29 November 2002 and 6 December 2002, respectively; and after giving consideration to further objections on 14 February 2003.


1.1.6        In February 2003, the Society for the Protection of the Harbour Limited sought a judicial review of the decisions of the Town Planning Board made on 6 December 2002 and 14 February 2003 in connection with the draft Wan Chai North OZP and its compliance with the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance (PHO).  The High Court handed down its judgment on 8 July 2003, whereby the decisions of the Town Planning Board made on 6 December 2002 and 14 February 2003 in respect of the draft OZP were quashed.  The Court also ordered the Town Planning Board to reconsider the draft OZP and the objections thereto.  As this interpretation of the PHO would apply to all future planning of harbour-front areas which included reclamation, and due to the great general and public importance of the case, the Town Planning Board appealed directly to the Court of Final Appeal (CFA).


1.1.7        Objections were also received for the WDII road works and reclamation schemes gazetted under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance and Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations) Ordinance respectively.  In the light of the on-going legal proceedings, it was considered not appropriate to submit the road works and reclamation schemes to the Chief Executive in Council for consideration.  The above gazettals lapsed on 18 and 19 September 2003 respectively.  The WDII project has been re-gazetted under the relevant ordinances.


1.1.8        In October 2003, the Town Planning Board considered the findings of a preliminary planning assessment on the draft OZP conducted by Planning Department according to the High Court’s judgment on the judicial review and requested Government to conduct a comprehensive review of the planning and engineering proposals of the WDII project and draw up a minimum reclamation option for Wan Chai North that would comply with the law.  The Town Planning Board is reconsidering the draft OZP and the objections according to the provisions of the Town Planning Ordinance.


1.1.9        On 9 January 2004, the CFA handed down its judgment on the judicial review.  The CFA ruled that the presumption against reclamation in the PHO can only be rebutted by establishing an overriding public need for reclamation (the “Overriding Public Need Test”), and that there must be cogent and convincing materials available to enable the decision-maker to be satisfied that the test is fulfilled for rebutting the presumption against reclamation.


1.1.10    Following the Town Planning Board request for a review of the WDII proposals and in the light of the CFA judgment, Government has undertaken to conduct a planning and engineering review of the development and reclamation proposals for the WDII project (the WDII Review).  The WDII Review commenced in March 2004.


1.2              WDII Review


1.2.1        The main purpose of the WDII project is to provide land for the construction of the Trunk Road (comprising the CWB which runs from Central Interchange in Central Reclamation Phase I through the CRIII and WDII project areas, and the IECL which provides connection from the eastern portal of the CWB to the IEC), and other key transport infrastructure including the necessary ground level roads for connection to the Trunk Road and to cater for through traffic from Central to Wan Chai and Causeway Bay.


1.2.2        Rail infrastructure that would be accommodated by the WDII project includes the Hong Kong Island section of the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) and the future Mass Transit Railway (MTR) North Hong Kong Island Line (NIL).


1.2.3        The land formed for the above transport infrastructure will provide opportunities for the development of an attractive waterfront promenade for the enjoyment of the public.


1.2.4        The WDII Review seeks to assess individually the purpose and extent of each proposed reclamation by reference to the Overriding Public Need Test and, if needed, to make recommendations on the revised alignment for the Trunk Road and at-grade roads, extent of reclamation and/or the land uses for the review area covered by the Assignment.


1.3              Harbour-Front Enhancement Review


1.3.1        The Harbour-front Enhancement Committee (HEC) was established in May 2004 to advise Government, through the then Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, on the planning, land uses and developments along the existing and new harbour-front of Victoria Harbour.  As guidance for the planning, development and management of the Victoria Harbour and the harbour-front areas, the HEC has established harbour planning principles which should be followed when examining transport infrastructure, including the Trunk Road, and harbour-front enhancement schemes.  These are:

·                     preserving Victoria Harbour

·                     stakeholder engagement

·                     sustainable development

·                     integrated planning

·                     proactive harbour enhancement

·                     vibrant harbour

·                     accessible harbour

·                     public enjoyment.


1.3.2        The HEC has set up a Sub-committee, namely the Sub-committee on WDII Review, to advise on the WDII Review.  Government has accepted the recommendation by the Sub-committee on WDII Review that enhanced participation should be a key element of the Review.  To achieve this, a public engagement exercise, namely the “Harbour-front Enhancement Review – Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Adjoining Areas” (HER), has been carried out under the steer of the Sub-committee on WDII Review.  Results of the HER project provide inputs to the WDII Review.


1.3.3        In order to achieve a better understanding of the opportunities for waterfront enhancement and to ensure a high degree of community support for the future draft OZPs and the draft Recommended Outline Development Plan (RODP), a 3-stage public engagement strategy has been formulated so as to enable a more structured approach to be adopted to the HER public engagement activities:


(i)    “Envisioning Stage”                     Public to provide their visions, wishes and concepts, as well as to compile Sustainability Principles and Indicators as a basis for the development of the Concept Plan


(ii)    “Realization Stage”                     Public to evaluate the Concept Plan to arrive at consensus


(iii)   “Detailed Planning Stage”           Ensure draft OZPs and draft RODP reflect the consensus.



1.3.4        The Envisioning Stage was formally launched on 22 May 2005, with a wide range of public engagement activities taking place over a two-month public engagement period.  The envisioning exercise was to engage the public in identifying the key issues and establishing principles in terms of improving the waterfront.  The concept of sustainable development underpins the whole HER project.  A list of sustainability principles and indicators was prepared and agreed through the public consultation process; these agreed sustainability principles and indicators have been used to evaluate the Concept Plan that was developed in the Realization Stage.


1.3.5        As part of the public engagement activities, the HEC Sub-committee on WDII Review convened an “Expert Panel Forum on Sustainable Transport Planning and Central-Wan Chai Bypass”, to explore sustainable transport along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island and to deliberate on whether the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (ie the Trunk Road) is needed – one of the key issues of the project.


1.3.6        The various issues that were raised by participants during the public engagement process, particularly in respect of Trunk Road alignments and harbour-front enhancement ideas, were extensively considered and addressed by the Sub-committee on WDII Review as part of the process of consolidating harbour-front and Trunk Road ideas.  The outcomes of this process then formed the basis of the preparation of the Concept Plan.


1.3.7        In the Realization Stage, a Concept Plan, for the development and enhancement of the harbour-front under the ambit of the WDII Review, was prepared for evaluation and consensus building by the public, using the HEC’s harbour planning principles and the sustainability principles and indicators developed during the Envisioning Stage.  At a Consensus Building Town Hall meeting on 16 December 2006, there was general agreement with the proposals put forward by the Concept Plan, in respect of the Trunk Road proposal and the envisaged land uses, although there was some discussion on various detailed aspects of the harbour-front enhancement schemes.


1.3.8        On the basis of consensus on the Concept Plan, detailed planning, engineering and environmental assessments have been carried out for the derivation of the draft OZPs and RODP, which reflect the consensus on the Concept Plan.


1.4              Environmental Impact Assessment


1.4.1        A detailed scheme for the WDII project and the Trunk Road (hereafter referred to as “the Project”) has been developed from the Concept Plan, with minimum reclamation necessary to meet the overriding public need, in conformance with the PHO.  Figure 1.1 shows the layout plan of the Project.  This scheme has been subject to detailed environmental impact assessment (EIA) under the WDII Review.


1.4.2        Two previous EIA studies provide background to this current EIA:


(i)                 An EIA was carried out on the development proposals under the WDIICFS.  An EIA Report on these proposals was approved under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) in 2001 (Application No. EIA-058/2001).


(ii)               In parallel with the WDIICFS, Government also commissioned a Project Review Study of the Trunk Road (CWB & IECL), which was completed in July 2001.  An EIA Report on the proposed works was approved under the EIAO in 2001 (Application No. EIA-057/2001).


1.4.3        An application for an EIA Study Brief for the Project was made to Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and has been registered under the EIAO (EIA Study Brief No. ESB-153/2006).  The EIA Study for the Project has been undertaken in accordance with the EIA Study Brief and the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process (EIAO-TM).


1.5              Objectives and Scope of the EIA Study


1.5.1        According to the EIA Study Brief, the purpose of this EIA Study is to provide information on the nature and extent of environmental impacts arising from the construction and operation of the developments proposed under the Project and related works that take place concurrently.  This information will contribute to decision on:


(i)                 The overall acceptability of any adverse environmental consequences that are likely to arise as a result of the Project and associated works, and any related phased implementation.


(ii)               The conditions and requirements for the detailed design, construction and operation of the Project to mitigate against adverse environmental consequences wherever practicable.


(iii)             The acceptability of residual impacts after the staged as well as the full implementation of the Project, the associated works and the related proposed mitigation measures.


1.5.2        The EIA Study Brief, in accordance with the EIAO-TM, states the objectives for this EIA Study as follows:


·                     to describe the Project and associated works together with the requirements and environmental benefits for carrying out the Project and associated works; and to identify, within the scope of the EIA study as defined in section 3.2 of the EIA Study Brief, any individual project(s) that fall under Schedule 2 of the EIAO


·                     to identify and describe the elements of the community and environment likely to be affected by the Project and associated works and/or likely to cause adverse impacts to the Project, including both the natural and man-made environment and associated environmental constraints


·                     to provide information on the consideration of alternatives/options for different development schemes and construction methods


·                     to identify and assess air quality impact, noise impact, water quality impact, sewerage impact, waste management implications, land contamination, landscape and visual impact, marine ecological impact, cultural heritage impact and determine the significance of the impacts on sensitive receivers and potential affected uses


·                     to propose measures to avoid or minimize pollution, environmental disturbance, nuisance and adverse impacts during construction and operation of the Project


·                     to investigate the feasibility, practicability, effectiveness and implications of the proposed impact avoidance or mitigation measures


·                     to identify, predict and evaluate the residual environmental impacts (i.e. after practicable avoidance or mitigation measures) and the cumulative effects expected to arise during the construction and operation of the Project and associated works in relation to the sensitive receivers and potential affected uses


·                     to identify, assess and specify methods, measures and standards, to be included in the detailed design, construction and operation of the Project and associated works which are necessary to mitigate these environmental impacts and cumulative effects and reduce them to acceptable levels


·                     to investigate the extent of the secondary environmental impacts that may arise from the proposed mitigation measures and to identify constraints associated with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIA study, as well as provision of any necessary modification


·                     to ascertain whether the EIA study has adequately addressed the environmental impacts of those Schedule 2 designated projects identified; and, where necessary, to identify the outstanding issues that need to be addressed in any further detailed EIA study


·                     to design and specify environmental monitoring and audit requirements to ensure effective implementation of the recommended environmental protection and pollution control measures.


1.5.3        As per the requirements of the EIA Study Brief, the environmental issues, including air quality impact, noise impact, water quality impact, waste management implication, landscape and visual impact, ecological impact, land contamination impact, sewerage impact and sewage treatment implications and cultural heritage impact, have been addressed in this EIA Report.  In view of the nature, scope and location of the Project, impacts on climate, soils, and agriculture and fisheries activities would not be of concern and hence these issues have not been addressed in this EIA Report.  The environmental impacts on land use, and people and communities have been addressed in the relevant assessment chapters of the EIA Report.


1.6              Designated Projects under the EIAO


1.6.1        An existing cross harbour fresh water mains of about 1.1 km length and comprising twin 1,000 mm diameter steel submarine pipelines runs from Tsim Sha Tsui, along the west of the MTR Tsuen Wan Line to a landfall at the seafrontage north of the Wan Chai West Sewage Screening Plant, near Lung King Street.  The reclamation works could potentially damage the watermains and diversion of these mains will be necessary.  The total dredged volume for the construction of the cross-harbour watermain is estimated to be approximately 0.06Mm3.  As dredging for the installation of the new Cross-harbour Water Mains from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui (DP6) will be carried out less than 100m from a seawater intake, it is classified as DP under Schedule 2, Part I, C.12 of the EIAO.  The location of this DP6 is shown in Figure 1.2f.


1.6.2        The original scheme of the DP6 has been previously assessed in the approved EIA Reports for the WDII and/or CWB & IEC.  As the original scheme for the DP6 has not changed materially, the related EIA assessments of the approved EIA Report for these works remain valid.  Nevertheless, this EIA Study has still included the cumulative impact assessment, updated the assessment assumptions and the corresponding mitigation measures.


1.7              Relevant Approved EIA Reports


1.7.1        For the purpose of this EIA study, relevant findings of the following approved EIA Reports have been reviewed and taken into account wherever appropriate:

·                     Wan Chai Development Phase II Comprehensive Feasibility Study (EIAO Register No. AEIAR-042/2001)

·                     Central – Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (EIAO Register No. AEIAR-041/2001)

·                     Central Reclamation Phase III – Studies, Site Investigation, Design and Construction (EIAO Register No. AEIAR-040/2001)

·                     Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Atrium Link Extension (EIAO Register No. AEIAR-100/2001).


1.8              Structure of this Volume 3 – Part F


1.8.1        Section 1 of this Volume 3 – Part F describes the background of the overall Project, the objectives of the EIA study and the overview of the DP6.  A description of the DP6 is then provided in Section 2.  Sections 3 to 11 detail the results of the environmental impact assessment, covering relevant legislation, environmental conditions, assessment criteria and methods, and assessment findings.  An outline of the requirements for the environmental monitoring and audit (EM&A) programme is presented in Section 12.  The EM&A programme is also presented in detail in a separate EM&A Manual.  A detailed implementation schedule of the recommended mitigation measures is provided in Section 13.  A conclusion of the assessment is given in Section 14.  In summary, Sections 1 to 14 include:

·                     Section 1 – Introduction 

·                     Section 2 – Project Description

·                     Section 3 – Air Quality

·                     Section 4 – Noise

·                     Section 5 –Hydrodynamics and Water Quality

·                     Section 6 – Waste Management

·                     Section 7 – Land Contamination

·                     Section 8 – Sewerage Impact and Sewage Treatment Implications

·                     Section 9 – Marine Ecology

·                     Section 10 – Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

·                     Section 11 – Cultural Heritage

·                     Section 12 – Environmental Monitoring & Audit

·                     Section 13 – Implementation Schedule of Proposed Mitigation Measures

·                     Section 14 - Conclusion