Substantial reclamation has taken place near Cyberport, apparently without adequate government permission. The reclamation, for a HK$3.8 billion storm-water management project by the Drainage Services Department, appears to be several times larger than permits covering the site allow. A large earthen platform reclaimed from the sea floor now sits where a temporary pier was supposed to be built, to enable the transport of materials and waste to and from the proposed outfall site of the Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel. The apparent lack of regard paid to environmental regulations has infuriated nearby residents, who are demanding an explanation from the director of lands. A plan published in the government Gazette on May 25 last year said about 8,970 square metres of seabed and foreshore would be affected, and a temporary pier was to be provided during construction. An outline plan of the proposed temporary pier was attached to an environmental impact assessment, and later to permits issued by the Environmental Protection Department. That plan shows a narrow pier jutting out into the proposed works area. But the reclamation that has taken place - which the drainage department describes as a 'temporary pier' - appears to cover almost the entire works area. Ben Ho, environmental officer for the main project contractor, Dragages-Nishimatsu Joint Venture, said: 'This is not technically a reclamation; it is temporary.' The plan had been revised after the initial approvals, he said, and the environmental department had not objected to the changes. However, the Foreshore and Sea-Bed (Reclamations) Ordinance requires all plans for reclamation to be approved by the director of lands and gazetted. There has been no update to the gazette notice of May last year. A Cyberport resident said approval from the environmental department was immaterial because the changes needed to be gazetted. 'It plainly is not a design revision: the reclamation effected is neither a pier nor the pier approved,' the resident said, noting that the contractor appeared to have reclaimed land over the 'entire marine works area approved' in the impact assessment. He said the courts recognised no distinction between temporary and permanent reclamation. The drainage department said it had undertaken all the procedures required. A spokesman said the project had the necessary permit from the environmental department. However, the plan with the most recent environmental permit issued (see below) shows that the temporary pier is significantly smaller than the area that has been reclaimed. The drainage department said the works had been fully authorised. 'The department has confirmed that the temporary pier is well within the gazetted boundary,' it said.