Further Submission of the Town Planning Board on the Protection of the Harbour Bill


    1. A written submission of the Town Planning Board (the Board) on the Protection of the Harbour Bill (the Bill) had already been submitted to the Bills Committee on 6.5.1997.

    2. Representatives of the Board also attended the Bills Committee’s meeting on 13.5.1997 to respond to the questions and concerns raised in connection with the Board’s submission. At the meeting, the representatives of the Board were requested to consult other Board Members on the following :

    1. whether the Board would carry out public consultation before making recommendations on reclamation plans to the Governor in Council under the recent administrative agreement between the Board and the Government; and

    2. if public consultation were conducted, would it be undertaken by the Board or the Administration.

    3. The Board was further invited to attend another Bills Committee meeting on 22.5.1997 to respond to the two questions raised by the Members of the Bills Committee as outlined in para. 2 above. The Board replied to the Clerk to Bills Committee on 16.5.1997 stating that the full Board would deliberate the two questions at the Board’s meeting on 23.5.1997.

    4. The Board fully deliberated in detail the two questions in para. 2 on 23.5.1997 and arrived at the following views.

    Public Consultation on Reclamation Projects

    5. Since November 1995, the Administration and the Board have agreed on an administrative arrangement for reclamation works to the effect that reclamation projects will not be authorised under the Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations) Ordinance (FS(R)O) before the completion of the statutory planning procedures including plan making, plan exhibition and consideration of objections under the Town Planning Ordinance (TPO). The Governor in Council will consider all objections to the proposed reclamation under the TPO and the FS(R)O together in making a decision on a proposed reclamation.

    6. In November 1996, the Administration and the Board further agreed that all future reclamation proposals, except minor projects such as those for small-scale public landings and laying of utility pipelines, will be submitted in a form of a list of proposals for consideration in advance to enable a determination on whether any particular proposed reclamation will need to be submitted for consideration by the Board in the form of a new statutory town plan or as an amendment to an existing statutory town plan.

    7. In considering a proposed reclamation project submitted by the Administration in the form of a new statutory town plan or as an amendment to an existing statutory town plan, the Board will take into account factors such as the contribution of the reclamation in terms of meeting the demand for land for various uses and infrastructural facilities in the planning and development of Hong Kong, and the provision of opportunities to address environmental and traffic problems in its hinterland by redressing shortfalls of community facilities, open spaces and recreational amenities as well as the provision of transport links. The Board will also take into account the findings of technical studies such as environmental, drainage and traffic impact assessments of the proposed reclamation to be undertaken by the Administration. Based on the above factors, the Board will consider the need for and extent of the proposed reclamation as well as the proposed landuses to be accommodated thereon.

    8. If the proposed reclamation is not agreed by the Board, the proposal will not be processed any further under the planning system.

    9. If the proposed reclamation and the landuses thereon are agreed by the Board, the Administration will consult the relevant District Board (DB) and bodies on the proposed reclamation. The views of DB and relevant bodies will be conveyed to the Board for consideration. Taking into account the results of the public consultation, the Board will decide on whether to publish the statutory town plan, incorporating the proposed reclamation, under the provisions of the TPO.

    10. Upon exhibition of a statutory town plan under the TPO, any persons affected by the draft statutory plan can lodge objections to the Board under section 6 of the TPO during the exhibition period of the draft statutory plan. After consideration of the objections, the Board may propose amendments to the statutory plan to meet objections by amending the proposed landuses on the reclamation and/or amending the extent of the proposed reclamation before submitting the draft statutory plan to the Governor in Council for approval. The above arrangement serves as the public consultation process for the draft statutory plan. Hence, the TPO has adequate provisions for public consultation on reclamation proposals. There is no need to have a new legislation for such purpose.

    Public Consultation to be Undertaken by the Board or the Administration

    11. Since Members of the Board have their own full time commitments, it is not practicable for them to personally carry out public consultation on town planning matters. The assistance of the Administration is hence necessary. The Administration, with the agreement of the Board, will carry out public consultation on planning matters including reclamation proposals. The views of the public will be conveyed to the Board for its consideration.

    12. Moreover, the provisions of the TPO for the exhibition of a statutory plan and consideration of objections provide a proper channel for the Board to gauge public opinions on reclamation proposals.

    13. The Board is aware that as soon as the reclamation projects are conceptualised, they would be incorporated by the Administration in the strategic and sub-regional planning studies such as the Territorial Development Strategy Review, Metroplan Review and other Sub-regional Development Strategy Reviews. It has been an established practice that the Administration would conduct public consultation on such strategic and sub-regional planning exercises. The Board has also provided valuable input to the formulation of the territorial and regional development strategies.


    14. The Board considers that the current statutory and administrative public consultation practices and procedures on town planning matters, including reclamation proposals, are adequate.

    Town Planning Board
    May 1997

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