Officials working hard to enhance waterfront
I refer to the letter by Winston Chu, adviser of Society for Protection of the Harbour ("Government keeps breaking pledges on precious harbourfront", August 14).
The government is firmly committed to protecting and preserving Victoria Harbour.
We have also been making great strides in recent years to enhance the harbourfront.
The West Kowloon Cultural District is a 40-hectare waterfront site at the southern tip of the West Kowloon Reclamation. A total of about 22.8 hectares of open space was planned before the Chief Executive in Council ordered the review in 1999 for the development of a world-class integrated arts, cultural and entertainment district on the West Kowloon Reclamation.
In accordance with the latest approved West Kowloon Cultural District Development Plan, a total area of not less than 23 hectares of public open space shall be provided in the cultural district, including a city park, three hectares of piazza areas and a waterfront promenade not less than 20 metres in width. It has not shrunk.
Regarding the zoning amendment for the Central military dock site, the government has explained the background in various forums, including Legco, in the past few months.
The provision for and construction of the military dock arose from the Defence Land Agreement between the Chinese and the UK governments and has gone through many public consultation and engagement exercises over the years.
The present Central District (Extension) Outline Zoning Plan, first approved in 2000, has clearly marked the presence of the military dock at its present location subject to detailed design. The rezoning exercise under way is a technical amendment to amend the zoning in the outline zoning plan to reflect the final delineation and land use of the military dock.
The government has reiterated publicly the garrison's agreement that it would open the area of the military dock site to the public as part of the waterfront promenade when it is not in military use, having regard to its operation and the need for protecting the military dock. The military dock has been designed to integrate with the promenade.
This arrangement will accommodate the need to both provide the military dock for the garrison and provide the public with a waterfront promenade.
I would like to reassure Mr Chu and the public that the government will continue to work with the Harbourfront Commission and other stakeholders in creating a world-class harbourfront for public enjoyment.
Paul Chan, secretary for development