- About Us
- Newsletter and Press Release
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
Click here to stop it.Since 2004 harbour activists have asked Government to reconsider the location of pump houses, ventilation shafts, and other infrastructure. But to no avail. Hong Kong residents and tourists will be forced to look at, smell and hear the air ventilation of the six lane Central Wanchai Bypass tunnel.
View from IFC rooftop to harbourfront blocked by the planned airvent.
Highways Department will place the air vents right in front of the public rooftop on IFC, a public space the community has paid dearly for. The rooftop was created by the developer in return for being allowed to break the rules protecting the view of Hong Kong’s ridgeline!
Following the 2009 policy address, government announced its decision to forego land premiums and delete the planned hotel and office developments in front of IFC and to change the land use to a “large landscaped deck connecting the Central Business District to the new harbourfront and providing about 1.7 hectares of public open space including a central plaza for festive events”, “a vibrant, attractive and accessible civic node primarily for public enjoyment of the harbourfront.”
All this flexibility is wasted with the Highways Department placing the airvent right next to it. Oh almost forgot, they will mitigate the impact by putting some ‘festive’ grass on theroof of the airvents.
Move the airvent
A site just a little to the west has been identified by engineers where the airvent will be between fly-overs and out of everyone’s way.
Highways Department’s claims that such move will lead to delays rings hollow. Had Highways Department acted when people first commented there would be no risk of delay. In any case, the cost of a short delay is always much less than the cost of having a smoke stack in the wrong place forever.
Report in the South China Morning Post by Joyce Ng on 29 July 2009
Fears of pollution in public open space
Harbour advisers are concerned that a ventilation building for the Central-Wan Chai Bypass will occupy a large area of a waterfront site, polluting the public open space with exhaust fumes and ruining views.
Alternative designs for the building, which is to be constructed in front of Two IFC and is proposed as either a “streamlined green roof”, or a cube called “the play of illusion”, are to be revealed at an exhibition for public consultation today.
The structure, which will be 18 metres high and occupy an area of 1,470 square metres, is one of three ventilation buildings to be built for the 4.5km bypass that will run underground at the reclaimed Central harbourfront and will be opened in 2017.
But harbour advisers are worried that the building will take up a lot of space and become an eyesore.
The latest plan for the reclaimed Central harbourfront, envisages that a site near the ventilation building, known as Site 2, will feature one location for cultural, retail, restaurant, entertainment, tourism and community uses, and will be managed by public-private partnership. The site, together with the neighbouring Site 1, will also have a large landscape deck covering the tunnel. Sites 1 and 2 were originally planned as locations for hotels and offices but the government reconsidered this proposal and replaced them with low-rise structures for community use after public opposition.
Paul Zimmerman, chief executive officer of Designing Hong Kong, and a Harbour Commission member, said it was the location rather than the design of the ventilation structure that worried him. “You can see what people will experience if the bypass vent is placed here – exhaust fumes issuing forth into the open space.
“The government promised that Sites 1 and 2 will become a podium plaza for community use. People are expecting a beautiful environment there,” Zimmerman said.
He suggested shifting the ventilation building westward nearer to Central Pier 1, a place further from the harbourfront open space with less human traffic.
Opposition is also brewing among businesses in the IFC mall. Red Bar + Restaurant on the fourth floor of the mall is circulating a flier urging customers to object to the building, and says the structure will be an eyesore and block the harbour view in front of the mall.
Patrick Lau Hing-tat, another Harbour Commission member, said the ventilation location was not desirable. “No matter how you dress it up, it will take a lot of open space.” Civil engineer Greg Wong Chak-yan said a ventilation building and a certain amount of exhaust fumes will be inevitable given that the public had agreed the bypass should go underground.
In response to an inquiry from the South China Morning Post, the Highways Department said it was “not recommendable” to relocate the building as this would require the scheme to be gazetted again and a new environmental assessment of the impacts of such a change, “which will cause serious delays to the completion and commissioning of the bypass project, of at least 1-1/2 to two years”.
Moving it to the site near Pier 1 as the group suggested would require additional ventilation and cable tunnels of several hundred metres which would create an even bigger ventilation building and cause traffic disruption in the area.
The department also said the impact of the present design would be acceptable with mitigation measures.