A group of community activists is calling on the Hong Kong government to postpone the closure of the Avenue of Stars until “real” public consultations on the controversial Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront revitalisation plan are held and completed Victoria Waterfront Concern Group is demanding the government thoroughly review how the entire Tsim Sha Tsui promenade will be revamped and reopen the Avenue of Stars, which was sealed off last week in preparation for a three-year renovation in the area. Tanya Chan Suk-chong, a member of the concern group and former legislative councillor, said: “The public should decide how public space is used. Once you seal off a public space without a consultation or providing adequate information, this is already stripping the right of public to use that space. “I hope the government will reopen the Avenue of Stars. We want a real open public engagement, without screening, in which local residents and tourists can participate. I don’t see why there is a rush to board it up.” Chan said the group would launch a signature petition in the hope of raising public awareness of the revamp. Members of the group, which now has more than 200 likes on Facebook, include Tsim Sha Tsui activist Mary Mulvihill and Central and Western Concern Group convenor Katty Law Ngar-ning. In August, the Town Planning Board conditionally approved a plan by a non-profit subsidiary of New World Development to extend the avenue eastwards by 500 metres, with the addition of dining facilties, a film gallery and a performance venue. New World will also be allowed to continue manage the area until 2035. The plan triggered a public outcry because of concerns over the lack of an open tender and public consultation. Since then, both the government and New World have promised to engage the public better, including holding focus group meetings. READ MORE: More public consultation on Avenue of Stars to come after public backlash However, Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao reported last week that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and New World had already held the first focus group meeting at the end of September. As of today, no information about the meeting or future focus group meetings has been posted on the website opened by the department and the developer to increase transparency. Chow Sung-ming, a member of the concern group and the Land Justice League, said he was invited by department to attend a second focus group meeting, to be held today at 6pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. “They invite me by phone. I tried to find them earlier but couldn’t,” said Chow, who said he is unaware of who else will attend the meeting and what will be discussed. Meanwhile, pubs and restaurants in east Tsim Sha Tsui appeared uncertain of what changes closure of the Avenue of Stars will bring. Hem Rai, 32, assistant manager of a steakhouse in the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, said he has not noticed any obvious changes in the area with the Avenue of Stars having just closed. Under New World’s plan, renovation of Avenue of Stars includes closure of the nearby Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. The promenade remains open. “It’s too early to say … let’s see how it goes,” said Rai, who is worried his restaurant will lose its sea view if once renovation starts in his area.