Redevelopment of the old Kai Tak airport site appears set to move ahead without the government's former, eager plans for more land reclamation of the harbour, but a familiar feeling of a lack of transparency from the administration is creeping into the project. 'No reclamation,' says Winston Chu Ka-sun, the founder and former chairman of the Society for Protection of the Harbour. 'There should be no reclamation at the Kai Tak airport runway.' A previous proposal for the site had 133 hectares of land created by filling the harbour and the site, to include housing for 260,000 people. 'Look at this,' Mr Chu says disdainfully, pointing at the ongoing Central reclamation outside his office window. 'Half of the harbour is already gone since 1945. This shall not happen again with the Kai Tak revamp.' Patrick Lau Sau-shing, chairman of the Legislative Council's Planning, Lands and Works Panel, says: 'I am 100 per cent sure that there will be no reclamation because the law will not approve it. I also haven't heard from anyone during the public consultation that wanted reclamation.' The government wrote in its recent Kai Tak Planning Review that one of the key considerations in land use would be 'without reclamation', but according to Dr Ng Mee-kam, an associate professor with the Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Hong Kong, such a proposal is still valid. Kelvin Chan, senior town planner of the Planning Department, says: 'I can't tell you whether there will be any reclamation or not. We have to listen to public advice first.' New consultation documents on the Kai Tak revamp take no stand on land use. Many options are mentioned in the new documents, varying from housing and commercial developments to a cruise terminal or a multi-purpose stadium that can hold 50,000 people. According to Mr Chan, the government has received more than 150 written proposals. When asked by the South China Morning Post to produce some of the ideas from the public, Mr Chan declined, saying: 'This is not the right timing to tell you [about] proposals from the public. We are still putting the proposals in order. Wait one or two months, and then I will tell you the answer.' Another senior planning officer gives a similar response: 'I can not tell you specific information about the public consultation. Just visit our website.' The website ( www.info.gov.hk/planning ), which is its own worst enemy in terms of being easy to locate, did contain very limited information on a handful of proposals, including: 'a Kai Tak shoreline village, including boat house, floating market, promenade, etc.'; 'an International Multi-Media, Digital and Visual Centre' and 'Water Recreation Centre/Ecological Water Park'; 'a monorail from Lei Yue Mun, via Star Ferry at Tsim Sha Tsui to West Kowloon; and 'an open-air performance venue at the quarry site near Eastern Tunnel'. Dr Ng says: 'The government's gesture to invite the public to participate in the consultation is good. But the government has not done enough. People are not well-informed about the project.' Mr Lau agrees. 'The government has put much effort into the revamp project,' he says. 'They started from 1993 and did lots of research. But the public does not know that much about the government's effort. Why? The government has not informed the public well.' The working deadline for public consultation was November 19, but Mr Chan says there will be an extension. 'We are waiting for more public opinions before the end of November and for working purposes, [the deadline could be] even before February next year.' He says the public was not active during the consultation period, with submissions mainly from government bureaus and some social activists, including Mr Chu, who says the Kai Tak runway could be preserved to provide an international cruise terminal. 'Nature has given Hong Kong one of the best harbours and in the centre of the city,' Mr Chu says. Holding a picture of the breath-taking view from the runway, he adds: 'When the passengers come to Hong Kong, they will land here on the runway, seeing a spectacular Hong Kong. There can not be a more beautiful sight in the whole world for cruise passengers.' But Paul Zimmerman, convenor of Hong Kong Harbour District, criticises Mr Chu's proposal. 'A cruise terminal without piers - that would be very boring. And a boring harbour would be stupid. The harbour would be dead.' Mr Zimmerman urges the government to have an integrated plan for the harbour. 'The government is comfortable [with] making piecemeal plans and doing individual projects,' he says. 'No one, or no group of people, is looking after all the planning as a whole in the government. We've got messes in many places. This should not happen again with Kai Tak.' He asks the government to think carefully about where to place its big-ticket developments. 'Placing an aviation centre in Kai Tak might be a good idea. But it might also be fine to place it in Sai Kung. We need a thorough plan of the whole city before we decide the future of Kai Tak.' Mr Zimmerman wants to see an office area in southeast Kowloon, which 'will be a symbol of building Kowloon, and also serve as a stimulation to the economy in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay'. A yacht club or dragon-boat circuit could be included in the 'front yard' of the development, he adds. Another activist in the consultation is Francis Chin, chairman of the Save Kai Tak Campaign. He organised an e-mail drive to create an aviation park with a runway for light aircraft, sports training and maritime activities, and interaction nodes for tourists. The Home Affairs Bureau has proposed a multi-purpose stadium with 40,000 to 50,000 seats. Other government proposals include public housing sites and a refuse-transfer station. Dr Ng says there are three main points that interest the public. 'First, they want the area to be a leisure and tourism centre, like a city lounge,' she says. 'Second, people want to keep their memories of the site, so keep the shape. Third, as it is in the heart of the old, urban Hong Kong, it needs to help the revitalisation of the old area. 'But we also should ask the kids for their opinions. By the time the Kai Tak project finishes, young kids will be teenagers or older. They will use it when it is built.' Students from Lok Sin Tong Primary school dreamed up an artificial island with artificial snow. They also proposed a zoo or an aquarium - more attuned with public thinking, perhaps, than a refuse-transfer station.