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Letter dated 31 May 2004 sent to the South China Morning Post

The Editor
South China Morning Post

31 May 2004

Dear Sir,

I refer to the article by Ms Christine Loh of the Society for Protection of the Harbour in your letter column on 28 May 2004. All information related to Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) is already on our website. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the more important points, in response to Ms Loh's article which contains some inaccurate data.

The extent of reclamation under CRIII is determined by the requirement of the essential transport infrastructure - not as a result of any proposed land use as shown in the Central (Extension) Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The amount of reclamation required, i.e. 18 hectares is already the minimum extent in order to meet the transport needs.

It should be noted that half of the formed land, i.e. 9 hectares, is zoned for open space which is almost half the size of the Victoria Park.

As far as the OZP is concerned, it is public information that, of the 18 hectares of reclaimed land, there is a total of 5.1 hectares the zoning of which allows for commercial uses. This comprises two components -

  1. 2.5 hectares is zoned for low-rise waterfront-related commercial and leisure uses such as festival markets, cafes, restaurants and retail shops, not as offices. They are needed to complement the function of the waterfront promenade and will add variety and attraction to the waterfront. There will be stringent height restrictions ranging from 13 meters above principal datum (mPD) to 25 mPD (i.e. about 1 to 4 storeys). The amount of gross floor area falling within CRIII is in the order of 57,000 square meters.
  2. 2.6 hectares is part of the Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) site, which is located partly on existing land occupied by the General Post Office and the Star Ferry carpark and partly on new land formed in connection with the road projects. The CDA will be a podium structure with low-rise pedestrian landscape deck on the east and the groundscraper on the west. The maximum height for the landscape deck is 16 mPD (about 2 storeys) and that for the groundscraper is 50 mPD (about 10 storeys). The maximum gross floor area is about 190,000 square meters. About half of the gross floor area will fall on reclaimed land, i.e. about 95,000 square meters.

Victoria Harbour is our important natural asset. It is the Government's intention that the reclaimed land be used for good urban planning to "bring the Harbour to the people".

Yours sincerely,

(Christine Chow)
Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau