Public backs latest plan but criticises delay

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 October, 2011, 12:00am


Visitors trooped to see the latest model of the West Kowloon arts hub yesterday, and their general verdict was: the new features are good, the delays bad.

The first day of the exhibition at the Heritage Discovery Centre in Kowloon Park attracted dozens of visitors who inspected the model of the huge project, photos and information boards.

The exhibition is part of the third and last round of public consultation before construction begins.

An architect named Liu, 41, said he liked the features adopted from the two other plans that were shortlisted in the second round of consultation. 'It's great to have more outdoor arenas,' he said. 'The water taxis and floating performance platform are interesting too.'

Liu voted for architect Norman Foster's plan in the previous round because of its abundance of trees and the public space along the waterfront. He suspected the park's size had already been reduced, and hoped it would not be cut further.

He was also unhappy that the original opera house had been split into a free space and an outdoor theatre. 'The master layout is not as pretty as before,' he said.

The hub authority announced on Thursday that completion of some facilities would be delayed for two years. Liu said he was disappointed and hoped the promenade could be open sooner for public use.

Architecture student Jacky Wong Chun-yip, 24, said he liked the latest plan more than the last one, noting: 'There are more facilities for public use.' He especially liked the narrow streets linking the waterfront, public square and concert venues. 'They are very local, and it's important to have local characteristics in the hub,' he said.

Wong said he was happy that the plan made better use of the sea with piers and water transport, but he hoped there would be underground pedestrian paths 'so people will come in bad weather, too'.