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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:38 AM   #361
hkskyline
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'China rule' rescue bid for Queen's Pier falters
Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, May 03, 2007

Queen's Pier conservationists have suffered another setback after legislators rejected a non-binding motion urging the government to adopt a Chinese heritage principle in preserving the soon- to-be-demolished landmark.

The motion proposed by Civic Party barrister-legislator Alan Leong Kah-kit to preserve the pier in-situ and modify related work projects to avoid damaging its structures, was shot down by 16 votes to six, with two abstentions, in the functional constituency half of the Legislative Council, although it was passed by geographical constituency legislators with 14 votes to eight.

Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung said conserving the pier was a must-do project for the government, and that was why it was seeking a HK$50 million initial funding from the council this month.

"We welcome different views as expressed on this matter, and this shows Hong Kong society can accommodate different opinions. We will adopt a fair and open attitude and hold consultations with all citizens, professional groups, the Legco, and district councils, before deciding where the pier is to be relocated," Suen said.

Restating that preserving the pier at its current site is technically infeasible, Suen said the government will carefully conserve the pier structure in storage for proper relocation in future.

Leong said the government should adopt the principles for the conservation of heritage sites in the mainland as its strategy in conserving the pier, rather than its present approach, by removing the pier structure but relocating it on the promenade in future.

"Although the SAR government lacks a set policy on heritage conservation, we hope it should at least adopt this set of principles and the mainland government's positive attitude in implementing related measures," Leong said.

"It's like when we hire a contractor to refurbish our flat and if we intend to change our decoration plans, we have to inform the contractor to make related adjustments. But in the Queen's Pier saga, the government just keeps sticking to its original plan and has raised a bunch of reasons in defense, but it's reluctant to respond to the public's calls to modify its proposal."

He hoped the public could stand tall and force the government to modify its relocation plan, allowing the pier and the settings of adjacent historical buildings to be preserved.

Liberal Party vice chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said even the mainland benchmark offered flexibility and did not firmly state that all ancient monuments must be conserved at the same location.

Cheung Hok-ming, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said it was pointless to preserve the pier at its current site as it would obstruct the road alignment of the Central-Wan Chai bypass project but agreed it should be relocated to preserve its setting.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #362
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Harbor option for Queen's Pier
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, May 04, 2007

Queen's Pier can again serve its original purpose - of serving ships - if it is reassembled between ferry piers 9 and 10 now under construction in Central, according to one of four concept plans unveiled by the Planning Department Thursday.

Another version suggests Queen's Pier can be aligned with the rebuilt Star Ferry Clock Tower and serve as an entrance lobby to the pier complex, complete with cafe.

The submission came a day after a nonbinding Legislative Council motion to invite public views on how to relocate the Queen's Pier and the old Star Ferry Clock Tower was rejected.

"We respect the original function of the Queen's Pier, which, of course, has to be set in the waterfront," Deputy Director of Planning Ophelia Wong Yuen-sheung told reporters when asked why relocating the pier was an option.

She said the government is keeping an open mind on harborfront design.

"These plans only illustrate design concepts," Wong said.

"It's not about choosing one out of four. We welcome public participation and other ideas."

Only one of the plans involves rebuilding Queen's Pier at its original location, Wong said. That option would involve realignment of and construction delays to Road P2, a dual two-lane road providing access to the Central and Wan Chai reclamation areas.

It would also involve adjustments to other infrastructure including the Airport Railway Extended Overrun Tunnel and the extension of the stormwater drainage culvert at Man Yiu Street.

An alternative but similar plan puts the pier near its original site without affecting P2. The government said this option would be cheaper and construction time shorter.

None of the four concepts mention reassembling the Star Ferry Clock Tower at its original location, although Wong said the tower is part of the harborfront design and the government will keep its promise to "rebuild" the chimes of the clock, complete with the original clock faces and mechanism.

The Star Ferry pier's demolition in January provoked criticism of the government's heritage policies.

As to the possibility of reassembling Queen's Pier at its original location, Wong said if a majority of people preferred one particular concept, she believed the government would consider it.

But the pier had to be removed first to complete reclamation, she said.

The Antiquities Advisory Board will consider at a public hearing next Wednesday whether Queen's Pier should be declared a historic monument. Wong said the Planning Department will closely monitor the matter.

The government hopes public consultation will be completed by the end of this year, with the first stage of public discussion beginning Thursday and lasting until the end of June.

This will be followed by focus group workshops and community forums that will welcome professional, academic and public views.

Wong Kam-sing, chairman of the board of local affairs at the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, said he did not have a final view on any of the four concept plans, but he believed preserving Queen's Pier should not be the overriding factor.

"Kom Tong Hall was used as a residential building. Now it serves as the Dr Sun Yat Sen Museum, so this doesn't mean the hall was not respected for its original function," he said.

The government decided to preserve the Edwardian building in 2004.

He also said the relationship between Edinburgh Place and the pier should not be overlooked.

Civic Party barrister-legislator Alan Leong Kah-kit, whose proposed motion was turned down, said the timing of the consultation indicated that the government was using it as a smokescreen instead of a real public consultation.

"The government is not committed to preserving historical heritage as P2 is still in the agenda," Leong said.

"Otherwise they could wait until they finish genuine research on how to preserve the pier in its context and move the construction works."

Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung told legislators earlier that the government had ruled out preserving Queen's Pier at its present site due to technical difficulties.

The government said the aim of reclamation is to enhance a distinct and high-quality central business district image and to create a world-class waterfront that is vibrant, attractive and belongs to the public of Hong Kong.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 04:10 AM   #363
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Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront

http://www.pland.gov.hk/p_study/prog.../index_eng.htm







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Old May 7th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #364
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The Tamar designs incorporate different elements on the waterfront-facing plan. Incorporating that design, well, whatever design wins the day, with the central waterfront plan is key. I don't want to see a break in the theme from Central to Wanchai.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #365
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Old May 8th, 2007, 01:03 AM   #366
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Concept B2 looks the best; it pays homage to both the tower and the pier as well as providing a waterfront scene.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #367
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It doesn't make sense that they're tearing down the Star Ferry clock tower and Queen's Pier and then rebuilding it again. But at least that plan will bring them back somehow. Do the two get in the way of reclamation?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 06:48 AM   #368
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Would the Colisseum in Rome still have the same historical or heritage value if it were removed brick by brick and reconstructed, say, a couple of miles away? As well remove the Murray Building and build it somewhere else. Oh, wait -- that already happened!

To me, these plans reflect -- at best -- a very poor attempt at compromise. Tearing down the Star Ferry clock tower and Queen's Pier and rebuilding them somewhere else is pretty useless. What made these two structures special had nothing IMO to do with esthetics and everything to do with their historical significance and emotional attachment.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #369
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Harbor activist tells of `very dishonest' move
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, May 08, 2007

An adviser to a harbor protection group has accused the government of misleading the court and people of Hong Kong by not mentioning massive property development when it sought to justify its reclamation of the waterfront.

The accusation, by Society for Protection of the Harbour advisor Winston Chu Ka-sun, was made during Monday's Legislative Council subcommittee meeting to discuss what is known as Central Reclamation Phase 3.

Chu said the government was "very dishonest" in not mentioning the massive property development during court proceedings brought by the society in 2003 to oppose the reclamation.

"The government used traffic congestion as an excuse to justify land reclamation in order to sell more land," Chu said.

In court, government planners had spoken of the overriding public need for three reclamation projects in Central - the Central-Wan Chai Bypass, the Road P2 Network, and the overrun tunnel on the Airport Express and Tung Chung MTR lines.

Chu said the Road P2 Network to serve Exchange Square, the two IFC buildings and the ferry piers, was in its present huge form only because of the proposed massive property developments that were being planned for the Central harborfront.

The government's original proposal for P2 was a six-lane highway more than 30 meters wide.

Chu said a reduction in the width of P2 may mean Queen's Pier need not be demolished and could be retained at its present site.

He asked the government to consider a review of the P2 design.

Deputy Commissioner for Transport, Planning and Technical Services Lau Ka-keung said Chu's said the government did not mislead anybody.

Lau said Chu's information may not be correct and he emphasized the government had not made any mistake with regard to the reclamation.

He said the construction sites were not mentioned because they were not on reclaimed land.

However, a number of legislators at the meeting called for more details on the P2 project.

Democrat Lee Wing-tat asked why a road 30 meters was necessary if the waterfront was designed for leisure purposes.

He also suggested the property development along the central waterfront would only lead to more traffic.

The legislator representing the real estate sector, Abraham Shek Lai-him, said he supported the government's plan to build the P2 project.

However, he wanted an official from the planning department to explain its design.

Only officials from the transport department were at Monday's meeting.

The subcommittee unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to review the design and planning of P2.

Separately, legislators were also unhappy that no government official was present to answer their questions on the controversial Tamar development, which is due to start construction before the end of the year.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 06:49 PM   #370
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中環填海區車路被指過闊
恐行人路不足 市民難享海濱景

08/05/2007
太陽報



【本報訊】政府在中環繞道設計再遇阻力!立法會規劃地政及工程事務委員會通過動議,促請政府重新檢討貫穿皇后碼頭的中環填海區P2路設計。議員及多個環保團體憂慮,雙線雙程行車的P2路過於寬闊使行人路不足,未能讓市民享受海濱景觀。另由於政府無派員出席添馬艦工程會議,小組對此表示遺憾並要求另行舉行會議。

立法會規劃地政及工程事務委員會昨日討論位於中環填海區內P2路的功能及設計,質疑政府設計的P2路過寬,雙線雙程行車的P2路約為一百米,寬度可媲美高速公路,較附近的干諾道中更寬,擔心建成後交通會非常繁忙,與原先希望讓市民享用海濱長廊的構思背道而馳。

政府無代表出席議員遺憾
運輸署副署長劉家強表示,P2路行車線設計較寬是由於其功能與一般道路不同,他解釋P2路是配合中環繞道,用作聚散進出繞道的車輛,加上P2路需增設轉彎專線,又要預留位置在路口設行人過路設施,因此需要一定的闊度以疏導車流。他又指,設計亦有預留空間在行人道旁栽種樹木,可作綠化及隔音用途。至於該路實際走線會否受研究影響,劉表示除了需原址保留皇后碼頭外,其餘問題不會影響P2路設計。

另外,小組又就發展添馬艦政府總部工程召開會議,希望政府提供更多實際資料予公眾,但政府以四個設計方案正進行諮詢為由,擔心評論設計會影響投標結果,為確保公平及完整性,政府無派代表出席會議。小組其後通過由議員郭家麒的動議,對政府並無派代表出席表示遺憾,要求政府派員出席下一次會議。
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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #371
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how can they launch more projects in hong kong its been developing for such long time you would have thought that it cant be developed any more because of ltd space its probably most developed area of land in world
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Old May 9th, 2007, 06:27 AM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asif iqbal View Post
how can they launch more projects in hong kong its been developing for such long time you would have thought that it cant be developed any more because of ltd space its probably most developed area of land in world
There are still a number of large plots around the city that are ripe for redevelopment. Kai Tak is the largest one in the pipeline, while there are still other high-profile projects in Kwun Tong, Kowloon Bay, Tsuen Wan, and in the heart of Kowloon. There are aging districts that need revitalization, and with office demand still fairly high, I expect more large buildings to rise. However, the scale is far smaller than what we saw in the 90s when the US$30 billion new airport propelled Hong Kong into a construction frenzy.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #373
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Queen's Pier assessed as Grade I Historic Building
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Government Press Release

The following release is issued on behalf of the Antiquities Advisory Board:

At the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) meeting held today (May 9), the Queen's Pier was assessed to be a Grade I historic building. The AAB also noted that Government engineering experts had completed studying the technical feasibility of various options for the preservation of the Queen's Pier, and made recommendations on its preservation.

The existing Queen's Pier, built in 1953-1954, is the second generation Queen's Pier. The first Queen's Pier was built in 1925 and mainly used as an official ceremonial pier. It was demolished in the late 1950s as a result of reclamation in Central. This second Queen's Pier was also used as a ceremonial pier. Since 1958, the Queen's Pier has been the landing place for six Governors of Hong Kong upon their arrival, where they would then proceed to take their oath of office at the City Hall (after 1963). Having discussed the heritage assessment of the Queen's Pier in detail, the AAB decided that it should be a Grade I historic building.

"The grading system for assessing built heritage is an internal reference mechanism of the AAB with no statutory authority. Historic buildings are graded in order to identify their heritage value," a spokesman for the AAB said.

The assessment criteria adopted by the AAB have covered many aspects, including historical interest, architectural merit, rarity, group value, social value, collective memory and authenticity. Grade I historic building is defined as buildings of outstanding merit of which every effort should be made to preserve if possible.

The grading mechanism makes no specific requirement on how the built heritage should be preserved. The preservation option would depend on such factors as the structure, condition and features of individual building, as well as the technical feasibility. The grading of the Queen's Pier as a Grade I historic building by the AAB would have no effect on the options of reassembling the Pier (including the option of reassembling it at its original location).

"Such a grading has taken into account the views of various non-governmental concern groups and professional bodies expressed at the Public Hearing Session held before the AAB meeting, in addition to the heritage assessment report submitted by the Antiquities and Monuments Office," the spokesman pointed out.

The AAB also noted that in the past few months, engineering experts of the Government had worked with professional bodies to study the feasibility of various options for the preservation of the Queen's Pier. Public consultation on the location and design concepts for reassembling the Pier has been launched by the Planning Department.

At its meeting on December 12, 2006, the AAB affirmed its decision taken in 2002 of not raising objection to the demolition of the Queen's Pier. At its meeting on March 6, the AAB asked the Antiquities and Monuments Office to conduct a further study on the heritage value of the Queen's Pier for the AAB's consideration of its grading.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:36 PM   #374
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Let see what's next. Although Queen's Pier is offical Grade I now, but doens't sound like the government cares about the rating so far.

Reading the Chinese article above, it says the P2 road will be 100m wide from curb to curb. A typical lane width is 3.6m, assuming two thru lanes, dedicated left and dedicated right on each direction. Just give it an extra turning lane in each direction at the intersection. So it is 10 travel lanes at the widest plus maybe another 3-4 meters median and another 3-4 meters for sidewalks on each side. Well......

Travel lanes 10 x 3.6m
Median 4m
Sidewalks 2 x 4m

It's only 48m, say 50m. What is the extra 50m for? Nonsense excuse from the government. And these widest sections are only at the intersections, not the whole length of P2.

Even P2 is said was designed to serve as a collector for Central-Wan Chai Bypass, but all the new roads constructed in the whole area connecting P2 and the Bypass aren't designed to be as wide and serve the same function. Becuase of that, P2 will never be able to serve that collector function since other roadways won't be able to feed traffic onto P2 efficiently.

So is the govenment saying all the other roads are not properly designed and Central will face grid-locked traffic even everything is built?
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Old May 10th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #375
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #376
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團 體 批 評 中 環 新 海 濱 規 劃 諮 詢 有 玩 弄 民 意 之 嫌
2007-05-10 HKT 13:56
RTHK

有 團 體 批 評 政 府 有 關 中 環 新 海 濱 規 劃 的 諮 詢 工 作 是 「 假 諮 詢 」 , 有 玩 弄 民 意 之 嫌 。

保 護 海 港 協 會 及 保 護 維 港 行 動 表 示 , 規 劃 署 早 前 公 布諮 詢 文 件 , 大 部 份 篇 幅 集 中 討 論 重 置 舊 天 星 碼 頭 鐘 樓 及 皇 后 碼 頭 , 是 淡 化 市 民 對 整個 中 環 海 濱 規 劃 的 不 滿 。

團 體 又 指 出 , 今 次 諮 詢 工 作 坊 , 並 無 邀 請 立 法 會 或 區 議 會 議 員 出 席 , 質 疑 署 方 是 否 有 誠 意 聽 取 各 方 意 見 。
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #377
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Old May 12th, 2007, 08:20 PM   #378
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Star Ferry protester guilty of criminal damage to canvas
Hong Kong Standard
Saturday, May 12, 2007

A woman who damaged a canvas sheeting covering the Star Ferry pier clock tower, which was being demolished at the time, has been found guilty on a charge of criminal damage.

However, magistrate Adriana Ching Tse deferred sentencing until May 25, pending a community service report on Ho Loy, 42, editor of the Lantau Post.

In delivering her verdict, Tse said Ho had committed the offense in front of policemen and showed no respect for the law.

"I appreciate that you had a desire to preserve the clock tower. But you should have achieved your goal in a peaceful manner and a way that people will respect. You used violence during the incident and that was wrong," she said.

Tse also ordered Ho to pay HK$800 to the construction company within two weeks as compensation.

During the hearing in Eastern Magistracy, Ho conceded she had damaged the canvas covering the scaffolding of the fenced-off Star Ferry pier in Central during the protest on December 12, 2006.

The act was caught on a police video that was shown in court.

Samantha Chiu, counsel for Ho, said the defendant cut the canvas as she truly believed it was the only way she could protect the property, which Ho felt belonged to the people of Hong Kong.

Ho also said she was motivated by the fact the government had halted its bid to push through the Article 23 anti- subversion law when it was faced with a popular protest on July 1, 2003.

Senior government counsel Anthea Pang Po-kam said if Ho believed she could have saved the clock tower by cutting the canvas, she should have continued to uncover more of the tower. Instead, she spent only a moment cutting the canvas before staying a further 30 minutes near the scaffolding area.

"I put it to you the act was merely a gesture to express your disagreement with the demolishment," Pang asked Ho who shook her head in reply.

During the trial, two of Ho's supporters, a man and a woman, were asked to leave the courtroom on separate occasions after Tse said they showed no respect for court procedures.

The woman spoke loudly during the showing of the video, while the man grabbed a policewoman's arm and scolded her when the officer asked Ho to sit up straight in her chair.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:48 AM   #379
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皇后碼頭公眾諮詢火藥味濃
副規劃署長﹕有專家將事件政治化

2007年5月13日





【明報專訊】政府就皇后碼頭的重置方案舉行公眾諮詢會,充滿火藥味。有參與者指皇后碼頭被評定為一級歷史文物後,政府有責任盡量保存建築物,顧問公司的4個方案「揀無可揀」;規劃署副署長按捺不住,狠批有人將事件政治化,「連教授都咁樣講№!」

「4方案揀無可揀」

政府早前拋出4個重建天星鐘樓及重組皇后碼頭的方案,包括將皇后碼頭拆卸後,重置於現有位置或附近位置;或嘗試重置在9號及10號碼頭附近,讓碼頭更接近海濱。

規劃署昨日就「中環新海濱城市設計研究」,舉行公眾論壇,不少參加保留天星碼頭的人士,包括早前遭定罪的示威人士何來、捍衛皇后碼頭行動發起人之一朱凱迪等均有出席。

諮詢會還未正式開始,參加者即抗議問卷未有列出「原址保留皇后碼頭」一項予公眾選擇,又指文件中沒提及海濱地區,原來有一個150米乘20米的解放軍碼頭。幾番擾攘後諮詢會延遲半小時才開始。

可持續發展公民議會黎廣德其後指摘,古物諮詢委員會已將皇后碼頭列為一級歷史建築,討論基礎應予以改變,「政府要盡量原址保留,所以應該討論在原址保留下,如何規劃」,其他參與人士批評方案「揀無可揀」。

「連教授都咁樣講№」

不過,規劃署副署長黃婉霜隨即明言,不希望有專家將諮詢會弄得政治化,「連教授都咁樣講№!」部分參與人士隨即起哄,她再次表示,「我只是想維持秩序」。

她強調,規劃署是希望徵詢各方意見,「就這樣說原址保留,我們無法收到意見」,並再三要求參加者要「明理一點」。

參加討論的200多名專家及市民,大致傾向要求政府原址保留皇后碼頭,並在附近加上水體,回復碼頭的舊貌,及降低海濱商業發展密度。規劃署則強調,現有4個方案並非終極方案,市民可以在諮詢期提出不同意見。
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Old May 14th, 2007, 06:58 PM   #380
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Harbour activists want more PLA berth details
14 May 2007
South China Morning Post

Harbour protectionists have asked the government to release more details of the PLA berth in Central, with public consultation on planning for the new waterfront under way.

They also warned that keeping the public in the dark may risk making the berth incompatible with the rest of the waterfront.

Under the 1994 Sino-British Defence Land Agreement, the government will leave 150 metres of the waterfront close to the Central Barracks for construction of a military dock.

The Town Planning Board ordered the study nearly two years ago after it rejected applications to change the land use of the controversial large-scale shopping mall on the new waterfront.

Government planners launched the study two weeks ago, when the administration also unveiled four options on relocating Queen's Pier and the Star Ferry pier clock tower.

The promotion pamphlet features two small pictures of the area's outline zoning plan, with a line indicating the berth. But photo-montages on the Central waterfront design do not indicate the berth's design.

A three-dimensional model for the new Central waterfront unveiled by the government last year also did not carry the berth's design.

Only recently were some features of the berth found in a government document on the Central reclamation prepared by consultancy Atkins China in 2002 at the request of the Territorial Development Department, now the Civil Engineering and Development Department.

But the government refused to confirm whether the details listed in the document had been updated, or to disclose when the berth would be built and completed.

A government spokesman said the outline zoning plan included in pamphlets the Planning Department issued two weeks ago to promote the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront clearly indicated the presence of the berth. "The military berth will form part of the promenade and will be open for public use when it is not in use for military purposes," the spokesman said.

A PLA spokesman said: "According to the Defence Lands Agreement reached between Beijing and London in 1994, the PLA berth in Central is an important foundation for the PLA garrison to carry out its defence duty."

Independent legislator Kwok Ka-ki said: "We understand and agree the PLA needs to build a berth in Central, we're not asking them to move out of Central. The problem is our government is not releasing the berth's design."

Activist Albert Lai Kwong-tak said: "The government should show us and explain to us the design."

In the document, up to 3,000 square metres on the waterfront in front of the Central Barracks will be reserved for a military dock and a 150-metre fence will mark the site's southern boundary. Sliding gates will be erected to allow public access when it is not in use. The PLA berth will have three sets of landing steps. An office, electricity supply building and a washroom will be built within the site.
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