Battle lines

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 12:00am

December 6, 2002 - Town Planning Board approves plans for 26ha reclamation from the Convention and Exhibition Centre towards Causeway Bay. In the consultation period, the board receives 650 objections, most casting doubt on the scale of the reclamation and the necessity for the Harbour Park.

January 4, 2003 - Society for Protection of the Harbour decides to take the Town Planning Board to court for alleged breach of the harbour protection laws.

July 8, 2003 - High Court rules the Town Planning Board's approach to the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance is 'flawed as a matter of law' and wants the plan to be reviewed.

September 28, 2003 - Between 2,000 and 3,000 people protest in Central against the reclamation project.

October 11, 2003 - Winston Chu Ka-sun steps down as chairman of the Society for the Protection of the Harbour after receiving threats to his family.

November 27, 2003 - Harbour conservationists release an alternative plan for the Central and Wan Chai reclamation which they say halves the area to be filled in without compromising the government's main objectives.

December 5, 2003 - Housing Planning and Lands Department announces an internal review has found there is a 'compelling, overriding and present need' for the project, that it would cause minimum impairment to the harbour, and that there is no viable alternative. The same day, a High Court judge orders the government to pay the Society for the Protection of the Harbour's costs from its successful challenge to the project plans.

January 9, 2004 - Court of Final Appeal rejects government's appeal of the High Court verdict, effectively killing of the current Wan Chai plan.