Districts throw weight behind pier relocation
Olga Wong and Joyce Ng
The government has won landslide support from district councils on the relocation of Queen's Pier to the new Central waterfront after completing its consultations with councils.
Sixteen district councils had already been consulted on the plan for the Central waterfront since April, with 14 of them moving motions supporting the pier's relocation to the new harbourfront and reviving its function. The two remaining councils - Kowloon City and Sha Tin - were consulted yesterday.
The public consultation process ends this month.
The last two councils passed similar motions of support, citing traffic concerns. Council members feared that delays to the six-lane P2 Road - a slip road adjoining the Central-Wan Chai Bypass - would make congestion worse if the pier was rebuilt at its former site. Appointed members moved the motions.
'We want a functional pier, not a scenic spot,' appointed Kowloon City councillor Wong Wai-ching said.
Elected Kowloon City councillor Bruce Liu Sing-lee, who spoke in favour of preserving 'collective memory', also supported the motion because it was passed on the condition that the move gained public support.
The pier was designed as part of the complex of City Hall and Edinburgh Place. A former chairman of the now defunct Urban Council, Hilton Cheong-leen, who was involved in the design of City Hall, said this month that the pier's history would be gone if it was moved.
But in a letter to the Conservancy Association, the Antiquities and Monuments Office said the new location would not affect its heritage value.
The office also confirmed that, at the new waterfront, the pier would just stand at the shore, losing two of its landing steps, instead of extending from the shore.
It would also lose two of its three berths.
Conservancy Association campaign manager Peter Li Siu-man said the office's reply was disappointing, adding the public had been misled since few knew about the alteration of the pier's outlook and the loss of berthing facilities.
'The pier will just become a roof above the pedestrian pavement if it is reassembled at the waterfront,' he said.