MTR Corp is lobbying community representatives in Western District for support for its revamped $7 billion West Island rail line proposal before seeking government approval. The rail company is understood to have amended its previous plan for the 3km extension to the Island Line by adding a property development at the Kennedy Town terminus. It also proposes demolishing the Kennedy Town public swimming pool to make way for a public transport interchange and building a new pool near Belcher's Street and preserving a century-old Banyan tree wall near Forbes Street. The amended plan is aimed at balancing the interests of various parties while filling a funding shortfall of $3.5 billion, according to a source. An MTR spokeswoman declined to comment on the details yesterday. 'We shared some information with local community and district council members in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday and don't want to comment on the details of the project until we have completed consulting the district council,' she said. The MTR obtained the Executive Council's go-ahead in July for detailed planning of the project, which has been on the drawing board for 20 years. It involves extending the Island Line from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town via Sai Ying Pun and University. Despite the go-ahead, the MTR and the government have been in dispute over funding for the project, with the corporation saying it needs subsidies to meet a promised return of 1 to 3 per cent above its weighted average cost of capital. Based on preliminary terms, a property analyst with a European brokerage said the new proposal offered a viable solution to plugging the funding gap. 'I have no doubt that the proposal will enable the MTR to meet its committed return and the needs of various parties, the question is whether the government is willing to take it,' he said. Residents of upmarket private housing The Belcher's, said the sooner the West Island line was built the better for property prices.