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Factsheets, Plans and Map, Review Report

Fact Sheet
The Legality of Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII)

  • CRIII is a duly authorized project. It has gone through all the necessary statutory procedures, during which there were thorough public discussions and opportunities for objections.
  • Unless and until set aside by a court order, the Central District (Extension) Outline Zoning Plan (OZP), which sets out the extent of reclamation under CRIII, remains lawful and valid.
  • The Central District (Extension) OZP was approved in February 2000. The CRIII reclamation was authorized under the Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations) Ordinance in December 2001.
  • In its judgment of 9 January 2004, the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) emphasised that there must not be any delay in applying for judicial review. According to the CFA: "With any reclamation proposal, substantial public funds and third parties rights would be involved. It is of obvious importance and in the interests of good public administration that all concerned should know where they stand as soon as possible so that the earliest opportunity for any challenge should be promptly taken. If not, the courts have the discretion to refuse relief."
  • The High Court, in its judgment of 9 March 2004, pointed out that in the case of CRIII, "time has passed and it has long been recognised that in planning matters time is invariably of importance and indeed good administration, far from surrendering to delay, should seek to avoid it".
  • There have been two legal proceedings initiated against CRIII. On both counts, the High Court ruled in favour of the Government.

High Court's Judgment in respect of the Society for Protection of the Harbour Limited's (SPH) Application for Judicial Review (JR) in relation to the Central District (Extension) OZP

  • On 25 September 2003, the SPH applied to the High Court for leave to apply for a JR and interim injunction against the Government's decisions regarding the Central District (Extension) OZP.
  • The High Court ruled in the Government's favour on 6 October 2003 by dismissing the application for the interim injunction.
  • The substantial JR case was heard from 9 to 16 February 2004.
  • Mr Justice Hartmann of the High Court delivered the judgment on 9 March 2004. The Court refused the JR lodged by SPH in respect of the Central District (Extension) OZP.
  • The Court's judgment has reconfirmed that the power to revoke an approved OZP or to seek its amendment rests entirely with the Chief Executive in Council. The Judge ruled that in determining that there was no need to revoke or amend the Central OZP taking all factors into account, the CE in C was exercising his discretion under section 12 of the TPO and was acting lawfully and reasonably.

Reviews of CRIII by Applying the 'Three Tests' and 'Single Test'

  • In light of the High Court and subsequent CFA ruling on the interpretation of section 3 of the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, the Administration has conducted two reviews in respect of the CRIII reclamation to ensure it meets the respective tests.
  • The first review was conducted in November 2003 ("the November 2003 Review") by applying the three tests (i.e. "compelling, overriding and present need"; "no viable alternative"; and "minimum impairment") laid down in the High Court judgment of 8 July 2003 in respect of the SPH's application for a JR of the decisions of the Town Planning Board on the draft Wan Chai North OZP. That Review concludes that the CRIII reclamation meets the three tests.
  • The November 2003 Review has been endorsed by Professor Y S Li, Chair Professor of Coastal and Environmental Engineering & Head of Department of Civil and Structural Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Professor Li confirms that, in his view, the analysis as presented in the Review Report has convincingly demonstrated that the CRIII reclamation can comply with the three tests laid down in the High Court's judgment.
  • The Government undertook to conduct a further review of CRIII after the CFA delivered its judgment on 9 January 2004 ("the Further Review") by applying the single test of "overriding public need" laid down in the Court of Final Appeal's judgment in respect of the TPB's application for appeal against the High Court's judgment on the draft Wan Chai North OZP. The Further Review demonstrates that the CRIII reclamation meets the "overriding public need test". Professor Y S Y Li has again given his endorsement to the Further Review. He confirmed that the Further Review Report has convincingly demonstrated that CRIII satisfies the "overriding public need test" and that the proposed reclamation does not go beyond the minimum required by the overriding need.
  • In addition, 10 independent experts from various disciplines of transport planning, architecture, civil, structural and geotechnical engineering and 8 third-party endorsers have provided their expert advice supporting the CRIII as an optimal and needed solution, re-affirming its minimum extent of reclamation and commenting that the other alternatives put forward are not reasonable alternatives.
  • A list of the independent experts is as follows:
    List of Table of list of the independent experts
    No. Name Title
    1. Mr Fred Neal Brown Transport Expert
    2. Mr Lo Hong-kam Transport Expert, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    3. Mr Tim Man Transport Planning Specialist
    4. Professor Y S Li Chair Professor of Coastal and Environmental Engineering, Head of Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    5. Professor Andrew Leung Head and Chair Professor of the Department of Building and Construction, the City University of Hong Kong
    6. Mr Maurice Lee Wing-woo Civil, Environmental, Geotechnical and Structural Engineer
    7. Mr Koo Yuk-chan Civil and Geotechnical Engineer
    8. Mr C O Tong Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, the University of Hong Kong
    9. Mr Albert Cheng Wai-shing Chartered Engineer at Black & Veatch Hong Kong Limited
    10. Mr Edwin Chung Kwok-fai Chartered Engineer at Black & Veatch Hong Kong Limited
  • A list of the third-party endorsers is as follows:
    List of Table of list of the third-party endorsers
    No. Name Title
    1. Professor Bernard Lim Professor, Department of Architecture, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
    2. Mr R.J. Black Project Director of MTRC
    3. Dr Cheng Hon-kwan Former Chairman of Transport Advisory Committee
    4. The Hon Raymond Ho Chung-tai LegCo Member
    5. Hong Kong Institute of Architects  
    6. Hong Kong Institute of Planners  
    7. Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong  
    8. Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd.  
  • The full reports of the two Reviews are available at our web-site


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