Stanley set for 'disaster'

BUSINESSES along Stanley Bay's picturesque seafront have condemned land reclamation plans published yesterday, calling them a ''potential disaster''.

Some said that the reclamation work currently in progress on the east side of the beach had already had a negative effect on business and the situation would deteriorate.

They feared that the plans announced yesterday to do similar work on a 1.7 hectare area on the west side of the beach could make things even worse.

''No one seems to know for sure exactly what is happening. There are real worries that there will be a drop in business,'' said Tim Boyes, assistant manager of Beaches bar, which overlooks the sea.

''We have a number of traffic jams now, and too few car parks as it is: if they increase the traffic along this main road, then it's a potential disaster,'' Mr Boyes said.

The Government plans to reclaim 4,000 square metres of land, on which it will reconstruct Murray House, as well as building a 190 metre sea wall and a public pier.

The reclamation work would start in mid-1994 and be completed in mid-1996, while contruction work on the pier would run from 1996 to late 1997.

Maitre d' at the Stanley French restaurant, Ringo Tse Siu-kwong, said that any more reclamation work in the area would send diners away.

''Most people come because of the view and the sound of the sea; if they see and hear construction work, I think they might stop coming,'' he said.

''It's not good for us, and it's not good for the area.

''If we could get [the Government] to stop this work then we would do so,'' he said.

Plans for the project can be seen at the Land Deparment Survey and Mapping Office in Central, as well as other selected government offices throughout the territory.

The Government has formally invited objections to the plan ''from any person who considers that he or she has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore concerned''.

The current work, which involves reclaiming 6,200 metres of the beach, was given the go-ahead in 1991 despite active opposition by environmental groups and more than 300 local residents and shopkeepers.