Green Island Reclamation (Oct 1998)

The original Green Island Reclamation proposes to accommodate strategic transport infrastructure including Route 7, Route 10, and Outer Western Corridor (Rail Link), and more than 100,000 population. The latest proposal has been revised with transport links as the major objective. In addition, about 30,000 population can be accommodated in the reduced reclamation area. The HKIP is of the opinion that if the population could be accommodated elsewhere, we support the reclamation extent be limited to the minimum requirement.

HKIP considers that the need for, and the appropriate extent of, the Green Island Reclamation have to take into account the future planning of its surrounding area. A comprehensive redevelopment of Kennedy Town should be reviewed in connection with the design of the Green Island Reclamation and possible MTR extension. Such considerations including the provision of G/IC and open space as well as the preservation of local character should be taken into account in the comprehensive planning. In addition, the development direction of North Lantau (e.g. whether it is port/ recreational/ residential-led, and thereby its transportation requirements) will have a critical bearing on the land use and transport demand of the Reclamation. Before we have a clear picture of such land use and transport demand, we should avoid making a hasty decision on the Green Island Reclamation.

According to Government proposal, two transport linkages are planned in connection with the Green Island Reclamation, namely Route 7 and the extension of the MTR line to Kennedy Town. HKIP recommends separating the Reclamation from the provision of the above transport linkages, which should be considered under the wider planning context of Hong Kong Island.

While we support the extension of theMTR line to Kennedy Town, we consider that such extension be implemented regardless of additional population threshold in the area, and should be independent of the Green Island Reclamation. At present, the MTR line terminates in Sheung Wan. With the rapid development of the Western District, its extension to Kennedy Town should be seriously studied, rather than hinging upon Green Island Reclamation alone. From our rough estimate, the catchment includes some existing 100,000 people in Central and Western Districts (excluding Mid-levels) and that the redevelopment of Kennedy Town will add some further 30,000 people. While it is fully recognised that the MTRC usually operates on a prudent commercial principle, it is considered that such financial assessment should not be confined to individual lines/sections/stations but should take into account the network as a whole. We urge the Government to persuade MTRC on taking up the extension soonest.

In the Government proposal, part of Route 7 is planned alongside Green Island Reclamation. We should, however, be careful not to have Route 7 absolutely tied in with the implementation of the Reclamation, given the array of engineering possibilities such as elevated road (like Island East Corridor), submerging the required section under ground/water or even realigning the section in tunnel (e.g. through Mount Davis). Indeed, given the present congestion condition on the Aberdeen Tunnel side, HKIP would like to urge the Government to seriously consider the improvement of transport linkages between Island South and the CBD, especially as TDSR has recommended a population growth of 60,000 people in Island South. Environmentally friendly options such as light rail or trolley buses should also be considered. This can be integrated with the Route 7 link.

Public Affairs Committee
Hong Kong Institute of Planners
22 October 1998