Press Release 5 February 2013
Proposal for a public marine centre in Tolo Harbour submitted
Hong Kong, 5 February 2013 – Designing Hong Kong has submitted a Section 12a planning application to the Town Planning Board for a public marine center in Tolo Harbour.
The proposal calls for a dry stack for 200 boats and a floating pontoon system for 400 boats at Pak Shek Kok, partially in front of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. The estimated cost is around HK$200million.
The marine centre will offer affordable mooring of boats, opening up the waters of Tolo Harbour to the community for marine tourism, leisure, recreation, and water sports activities. These activities offer new job opportunities for fishermen displaced by the trawling ban. The man-made shoreline was selected to minimize the ecological impact of building waterfront
“The Hong Kong community deserves public marine centres where they can store boats cheaply. Hong Kong has a spectacular 1,000km coastline, 280 islands, blue waters and white sand beaches. However, boating is restricted to the super rich who can afford a private marina. Facilities are needed for the public to keep boats and water sports equipment safe at a low cost. After all, a surfboard does not fit in your home, you can’t take it on the minibus, you can’t take it on the MTR and few people can afford a car,” said Paul Zimmerman, CEO, Designing Hong Kong Limited.
Pak Shek Kok is one of several locations identified for new facilities in Designing Hong Kong’s research ‘Vibrant Harbours – Water Activation Projects’. Site selection criteria include minimal ecological impacts, presence of leisure marine activities, available land, road access and minimal impact on commercial marine traffic.
The application by Designing Hong Kong, Y/PSK/1, proposes the zoning of a remaining waterfront site at Pak Shek Kok as “Other Specified Uses (Marine Centre)” and “Open Space”. The public can submit comments to the Town Planning Board until 22 February 2013. The same site is proposed to be zoned Residential (Group B) in the new draft Outline Zoning Plan S/PSK/10 for Pak Shek Kok (East) which is open for public comments until 18 March 2013. Designing Hong Kong does not consider this a conflict, as both plans can be combined.
“Implementation of the Public Marine Centre in Tolo Harbour will be a matter of Government to decide on. One option is to include the construction of the marine centre as a ‘Built-Transfer’ requirement with future residential land sales at Pak Shek Kok. Once built, the facilities can be operated by existing or new not-for-profit organisatio
Civic Exchange and Designing Hong Kong submitted a paper to the Harbourfront Commission on the progress of the Walkability Research and Engagement Project. The paper can be downloaded here. Below is a short powerpoint presented to the Harbourfront Commission and below is the proposed long list of fixes.
UPDATE! Ming Pao Weekly Magazine just ran a cover feature on the issue. You can download the feature here.
On Friday 16 December 2011, the Town Planning Board rejected the development of a marina, hotel and luxury housing on Lamma. This, despite the financial firepower from a listed company, and the employment of a senior member of the Town Planning Board and a well-known person in Hong Kong’s sailing scene. (Planning Application Y/I-LI/1). (http://www.bol-hk.com/) (more…)
HK is desperately short of facilities for water-based sport and recreation
On Friday 16 December 2011, the Town Planning Board rejected the development of a marina, hotel and luxury housing on Lamma. This, despite the financial firepower from a listed company, and the employment of a senior member of the Town Planning Board and a well-known person in Hong Kong’s sailing scene. (Planning Application Y/I-LI/1). (http://www.bol-hk.com/)
The proposal from the developer who owns a few village and agriculture lots on Lamma was too far-fetched, but the large-scale marina, water sports and sailing centre captured the imagination of many and was strongly supported by the Home Affairs Bureau and Tourism Commission.
With our 1,000 kilometres of spectacular coastline, more than 250 islands and beautiful seas, Hong Kong is desperately short of facilities that allow the public to enjoy Hong Kong’s waters for leisure, recreation and sports.
People are forced to use crumbling steps to get on and off boats in hot spots such as Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay. Our few water sports and sailing centres are full. No one can afford the private marinas and their waiting lists for boat moorings are very long.
Hong Kong desperately needs public clubs where people can store and maintain boating equipment. Buses and the MTR do not welcome passengers carrying surfboards. No one has a garden or shed, or apartments big enough to store sports equipment.
The Home Affairs Bureau, which happily endorsed the destruction of Lamma, should take charge.
It has so far failed to ensure that man-made waterfronts, where there is no threat to the environment, have facilities for water-based leisure, recreation and sports. Ma On Shan, Kai Tak, Tseung Kwan O and Aberdeen/Ap Lei Chau are ideal with their road and rail access and large local populations. The opportunity for water activities on Junk Bay was identified as early as 1982.
Rather than a world-class municipal marina and sailing facilities, all that is available today in Tseung Kwan O is a small unlicensed private operator, the Hoi Fan Fishing Club, where you have to climb over fences and rocks to get onto a small rented sampan with an outboard engine.
Unless the bureau starts to care, the planned cross-bay bridge will block sail boats from using Junk Bay. And we will be able to look at the water, but not get on it and use it.
CEO, Designing Hong Kong Limited
South China Morning Post, Dec 20, 2011
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