Calls to put Hong Kong’s Queen’s Pier back where it used to be

The historic monument was dismantled in 2007 for reclamation works

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 April, 2016, 11:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2016, 9:18am

Restoring Queen’s Pier between two piers in Central is costly and is not the ideal way of conservation, said a group of community activists yesterday, calling on the government to consider putting the now-dismantled pier back to where it was and allow more time for public consultation.

The government is now gathering public feedback on three restoration options of Queen’s Pier until May 17.

All of them involve reassembling the pier between Pier 9 and 10 in Central, a site by the harbourfront about a ten minute walk from its original location, before coastal land reclamation, in front of Edinburgh Place. The estimated costs range from HK$230 million up to HK$303 million.

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Protesting with other activists, Paul Zimmerman, of Designing Hong Kong, said he wanted the pier back where it was.

“If you put it closer to the original location, it has a much higher heritage value because Edinburgh Place will be complete,” he said. “And, you have it closer to the old waterfront for tourists, students and children to come back here and realise the waterfront used to be here.”

Zimmerman, also a member of the Harbourfront Commission, said putting Queen’s Pier by the water only to restore its pier function “was a narrow view”.

Putting it back to where it was would also be a cheaper option, costing less than HK$100 million, as it would not involve marine work, he said.

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Dating all the way back to 1953, Queen’s Pier served as a public pier, and as a ceremonial location for the arrival and departure of Hong Kong’s governors from the then British enclave.

The original dismantling of the pier in 2007 for reclamation works angered community activists in the city.

According to the Planning Department’s final report on the project, written in 2011, there had been consultations held over where the historic pier should be reassembled, including putting it back in its original location.

But opinions then were reported to be mixed.

A spokesman for the Civil Engineering and Development Department said results from earlier consultations showed “a majority support for re-assembling Queen’s Pier by the harbour”.