The Harbourfront Enhancement Committee has launched a plan of public engagement under the Harbourfront Enhancement Review - Wan Chai and Adjoining Areas.
At a press conference today, the committee's Wan Chai Development Phase II Review sub-committee chairman Leung Kong-yui said, through a public engagement exercise, the review project aims to achieve a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable harbourfront at Wan Chai and adjoining areas.
The harbourfront has to satisfy planning, transport and infrastructural needs while ensuring that the Wan Chai Development Phase II Review project complies with the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, he added.
The review project will adopt a proactive approach to enhance public participation throughout the process. A number of organisations have been invited to take part as collaborators, including the relevant District Councils, community groups, business groups, green groups as well as academic and professional institutions.
Enhanced public participation
In light of the Court of Final Appeal's judgment of January 9, 2004 on reclamation, the Government has undertaken to conduct a planning and engineering review of WDII to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the ordinance and the judgment.
The committee was established in May 2004 to advise the Government on the planning, land uses and developments along the existing and new harbourfront of Victoria Harbour.
The sub-committee on WDII Review has recommended an enhanced public participation in the course of the review. To achieve this, the review project will be carried out in parallel with the WDII Review.
Review to have three stages
The review project will be conducted in three stages - envisioning, realisation and detailed planning. The envisioning stage will solicit the community's visions on the types of harbourfront developments they want at Wan Chai and the adjoining areas, acknowledging the opportunities available and the constraints for development.
The collaborators will play an important role in compiling a preliminary list of sustainability indicators for further public discussion and endorsement.
In the realisation stage, the concept plan will be developed for evaluation using the agreed sustainability indicators with a view to arriving at a consensus on the preliminary development proposals.
Draft plan ready by year-end
Based on the consensus, the draft Outline Zoning Plan will be prepared in accordance with the statutory requirements and procedures of the Town Planning Ordinance in the details planning stage.
The collaborators' working group meeting held this morning marked the start of the public engagement programme in the envisioning stage, which is expected to end in April.
The other two stages will follow with a view to getting the draft OZP ready for consideration by the Town Planning Board by year end. The statutory planning process is expected to begin in early 2006 and finish by the end of 2006.
Surveys, forums before early April
At the envisioning stage, opinion surveys will be conducted from mid-February to mid-March and a series of public forums will be organised from early March to early April.
To facilitate the public engagement process, a consultation digest entitled "Harbourfront Enhancement Review - Wan Chai and Adjoining Areas: Public Engagement Kit" will be distributed to participants.
The public is welcome to visit the committee's website to offer comments as well as to keep track of the public engagement activities.
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