Promenade plan to open eastern harbourfront
Walkway proposed from Causeway Bay to North Point
A boardwalk under the Island Eastern Corridor is among ideas to be included in a study on revitalising disjointed waterfront sites from Causeway Bay to Lei Yue Mun.
The Planning Department will commission a 20-month study this year and seek ideas from the public.
Eastern District Council, which has sought a continuous waterfront walkway for years, proposed the boardwalk, which will be included in the study.
Options from the study would also be released for public consultation, the government said, adding that empty sites along the waterfront in North Point would be opened temporarily to the public during the study.
The study would cover western Causeway Bay to Lei Yue Mun, involving sites of more than 100 hectares, said chief town planner Raymond Lee Kai-wing yesterday in a meeting of the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee.
How sites along the waterfront could be connected to form an accessible promenade would be a critical part of the study, he said.
He said he hoped people would be able to walk from Causeway Bay to the North Point Ferry Pier.
'We would also like to explore ways for people to reach the harbour conveniently from older districts along King's Road,' he said.
Residential areas in North Point are cut off from the harbour due to the Island Eastern Corridor, which runs from Causeway Bay to Quarry Bay.
Sites that may remain open space include a goods loading area for government vessels at Hoi Yu Street in Quarry Bay and a temporary site of 729 square metres next to the bus terminal on Java Road.
The council already had usage ideas for the temporary site including setting up a community garden and a small theatre for Cantonese Opera, said District Councillor Patrick Lau Hing-tat, who is also an architect. He added that a planning competition was likely to be held to invite proposals from the public and professionals.
'A community garden would be a haven for families,' he said, adding that a theatre would attract the elderly.
A residential and commercial development is planned for the temporary site, which will only be available to the public for three years. The site will not be put on the market until the department decides the scale of the future development.
The Hoi Yu Street site, which is also used as storage for construction materials, could be turned into an open space and form part of the promenade.
Despite the council's enthusiasm and creativity, the Development Bureau was worried the boardwalk under the corridor would be regarded as a violation of the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance.
The bureau said a slip road connected to the corridor would force a section of the boardwalk at Tong Shui Road Junction to fall outside the footprint of the corridor.
'As long as the sea is not filled up, we would not see the boardwalk as part of the reclamation,' said Hardy Lok Kung-chin, of the Society for the Protection of the Harbour.
SOURCES: PATRICK LAU HING-TAT, DISTRICT COUNCIL