A controversial idea that forced the government to shelve its original plan for the West Kowloon reclamation district has been revived. Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said last night that the government had not ruled out building a huge canopy atop the 40-hectare waterfront site at the southwestern tip of the Kowloon Peninsula, on which the government planned to develop an arts and cultural district. But he was quick to add the issue would be decided by the proposed authority formed to manage the West Kowloon Cultural District. Mr Tang said: 'Whether there should be a canopy, how it should be built, or whether there should be a canopy on a smaller scale - we should leave this to the future [West Kowloon Cultural District] authority. 'We hope to set up the authority as soon as possible.' He was speaking after the first public forum, held at the Space Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui, on proposals released last week on how the long-delayed cultural district project should proceed. A three-month consultation began last week, almost 18 months after the original decision to award the project to a single developer and build a huge canopy as a landmark structure was abandoned amid fierce criticism. When the new proposals were released, the giant canopy idea appeared to have been dropped. But some of the 100 or so people who attended the forum expressed support for a huge canopy. One said: 'It is important to make the area all-weather, especially for street performances.' Some forum participants criticised the project as being a property development in disguise. Chu Hoi-dick, a core member of Local Action, said less than 40 per cent of the land would be for arts and cultural use. Fellow activist Ho Loy said a discussion on a cultural district was academic when the government had not formulated a clear arts and cultural policy. Two more forums are scheduled on October 24 at Tsuen Wan Town Hall and on October 29 at the Hong Kong Arts Centre.