Court agrees to judicial review of temporary reclamation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2007, 12:00am

The Society for Protection of the Harbour has been granted a judicial review over temporary reclamation work in Victoria Harbour.

Mr Justice Michael Hartmann in the Court of First Instance said he considered the issue 'a matter of public importance'.

He granted leave for the application on October 8.

The judge asked the government's legal representative to file court documents by October 29.

The society has challenged the administration's decision to carry out reclamation work in the middle of the harbour opposite the Wan Chai waterfront. The government said the reclamation was temporary and would not cause permanent damage. It would be removed after the Central-Wan Chai bypass was completed.

But the society's director, Hardy Lok Kung-chin, said temporary reclamation should not be exempted from the test of overriding public need, made compulsory by the Harbour Ordinance on planning reclamation projects.

A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said the disputed reclamation work had not started and it was too early to say how the court case would affect the project schedule.

He said the government had carried out extensive public consultation on constructing the bypass, which would greatly ease traffic congestion.