Letterhead of HONG KONG INSTITUTION OF ENGINEERS
Summary of Changes
Para 1.1 after last sentence, add "However, the extent should be optimised to fulfill basic planning, technical requirements and harbour conservation."
Para 1.6 add "existing" before Kai Tak Nullah in first sentence.
Para 2.2.3 after last sentence, add "The water promenade front should be widened and integrated with the Metropolitan park."
Para 2.2.4 after last sentence, add "and old factories in the vincity area for urban renewal."
Para 2.2.10 add new paragraph as shown below:
"To provide decanting sites for urban renewal projects in the surrounding areas such as Kwun Tong, Kowloon City and To Kwa Wan etc."
Para 2.4.1 after last sentence, add "However Harbour Conservation must be a major consideration to establish the extent of Reclamation."
Para 2.5.1 add "proposed" before open channel in first sentence.
Para 2.5.2 before the first sentence, add "We understand that under the current EIA Ordinance," delete "to fulfill the EIA ordinance" at end of paragraph.
A revised version with amendments shown in bold and italic is attached.
HKIE's Views On the Proposed South East Kowloon Development
1. Key Messages
1.1 HKIE on the whole welcome the proposed South East Kowloon Development, especially it provides the necessary infrastructure for Roads T1 & T2, covering the Kai Tak Nullah and if possible, more railway development for mass transportation. However, the extent should be optimised to fulfill basic planning, technical requirements and harbour conservation.
1.2 As a professional engineering institution, we would like to see all these important infrastructural work be commenced as soon as feasible so as to provide relief for traffic congestion in the whole Kowloon peninsula.
1.3 We are pleased to see that open space 6-7 times the Victoria Park would eventually be provided in the Development. There is no need to go for full scale landscaping in one phase. Consideration could be given to temporary provision as soon as possible to maximise the benefit of open space thus made available.
1.4 Whilst we welcome the land provision for housing, in the light of current economic situation, you may want to rephrase the four development packages with a view to build up the land reserve for release according to market demand.
1.5 In addition, the 113 ha of land reserved for commercial uses should be released to the market at the right timing in synchronisation with our economic conditions in the SAR.
1.6 On Environmental front, we concur that the existing Kai Tak Nullah should be covered with the contaminated sediments to be treated. You may want to consider whether treatment of the Nullah discharge would be needed in order to reduce the concentration of odour to an acceptable level on the harbour and those living or working adjacent to the point of discharge.
1.7 We are glad to see that the problem of methane gas generation and residual jet fuel had not been overlooked. Adequate precautions should be made for the safety and health of the worker and people working or living in the vicinity.
2. Detailed Comments
2.1.1 After the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, the Kai Tak Airport Site and Kowloon Bay reclamation provides an unique development opportunity for Hong Kong. The development plan of Kai Tak has been firstly unveiled in the publication "Hong Kong's Port and Airport Development Strategy - a Foundation for Growth in 1991".
2.1.2 The idea of a "city within a city" with a 50 hectare Metropolitan Park is innovative and bold providing challenges to Engineers and other professions. This project will enhance Hong Kong as a metropolitan city in Asia, creating land for housing, stimulating the tourism industry and hence creating employment opportunities to the general work force in Hong Kong.
2.1.3 The level of information shown on the plans is over-simplified when comparing with other plans for adjacent area such as Kowloon Planning Area No.10 - Ma Tau Kok.
2.1.4 According to Director of Planning Dr Peter Pun Kwok-shing, the SE Kowloon Development will be implemented in four phases. It is important to acknowledge that the provision of infrastructure has to cater for the ultimate development scenario even if implemented in phases.
2.2 Master Layout Plan
2.2.1 Parcels of land formed by proposed road system are large. The development density in the plans are lower than the normal maximum permissible under the Building (Planning) Regulations. Considerations shall be given to address the view, light, ventilation and open space within the large parcels of land and to use smaller street blocks within the large parcels of land so that internal circulation and open space within the individual parcel of land can be excluded from the density calculation. Considerations shall also be given to reasonable smaller development package acceptable and manageable by smaller developers.
2.2.2 It is noticed that the development planning is constrained by an open channel running north to south within the area. Proper landscape is recommended to soften the visual impact of the open channel.
2.2.3 The provisions of an aviation institute, museum, promenade and stadium etc in the area will form a major tourist attraction point in Hong Kong. Facilities to provide a more traditional Chinese culture is recommended. Other provisions such as amusement park and a zoo can be considered. Along the Promenade, restaurants and pubs can be used to provide a Western atmosphere to form a cultural place where the East meets the West. The water promenade front should be widened and integrated with the Metropolitan park.
2.2.4 Responding to the policy address for promoting high-technology manufacturing and serving facilities, it is recommended that the industrial zone south of the Hoi Bun Road would be allocated to high-technology industry. The need for Godown and vehicle repair industry is to be re-examined. Consideration shall be given to the re-development along Hoi Bun Road and old factories in the vincity area for urban renewal.
2.2.5 The possibility to relocate/re-orienting the Ferry Piers and Refuse Transfer Station away from the viewing range at the Promenade should be investigated.
2.2.6 Consideration to relocate the Helicopter landing site off the Promenade is recommended. Relocating it to an inland area within the open space may be more appropriate.
2.2.7 The possibility to re-align the drainage channel from Kwun Tong Nullah shall be reviewed for engineering effectiveness. The present alignment shows a 90° turn open channel at the northern edge of the Typhoon shelter.
2.2.8 It is proposed to provide a "theme" within the Metropolitan Park to create a unique symbol for the area. We suggest to use a special structural form for the "Observation Tower" to create an unique structure in the Park.
2.2.9 The existing Kai Tak Airport tunnel had not been shown on the plans. Retaining the existing Airport Tunnel as part of the road transport system shall be confirmed while recognising it as a planning constraint for future development.
2.2.10 To provide decanting sites for urban renewal projects in the surrounding areas such as Kwun Tong, Kowloon City and To Kwa Wan etc.
2.3. Infrastructure Provision
2.3.1 It is assumed that traffic impact study has been carried out for the proposed road network. A proper integration of the Central Kowloon Route and the Trunk road T1 and T2 to provide efficient highway network is assumed.
2.3.2 There is no mentioning in the plan that a Mass Transit Transport System is needed however a railway depot site has been provided at the Kai Tak redevelopment site. It is in the public knowledge that Railway reserve has been allowed for in the planning. A proper railway network integrating with the development planning is considered essential for this massive development and should be shown on the Outline Zoning Plan. It would seem unreasonable to only provide buses as the only mode of public transport for the development.
2.3.3 Consideration shall also be given to the cost effectiveness of constructing future railway system (particular underground) within the existing land and the future reclaimed area. Intake of land for the railway will need to be identified early during planning stage.
2.3.4 It is assumed that all utility services have been properly considered as to confirm the viability of the development for all stages of the development.
2.4. Extent of Reclamation
2.4.1 In principle, we support the proposal to reclaim the areas in the vicinity of the disused airport as a means of providing much needed sites for housing and essential major infrastructure. We also see a need to rationalise the shoreline at Kowloon Bay, but recognise that the extent of reclamation will need to be constrained by considerations of currents and waves for navigation in the harbour. We have assumed that proper hydrodynamic modelling and marine impact assessments have been carried to address these and associated problems such as siltation and erosion. However Harbour Conservation must be a major consideration to establish the extent of Reclamation.
2.4.2 We consider it necessary to reclaim the Kai Tak Nullah and Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter area after removal of the Kai Tak Airport. However, this work will need to be carefully designed and executed to avoid causing adverse environmental problems in the areas.
2.4.3 The effect of the reclamation on the Eastern Harbour Crossing has to be carefully considered and mitigation measures identified and implemented.
2.4.4 We have assumed that dumping of the contaminated material has been resolved and agreed with the Fill Management Committee (FMC) and Environmental Protection Department (EPD).
2.4.5 The cost-effectiveness of the method of reclamation and future constructions for the development especially for heavy underground work have to be considered as a whole for the development project.
2.5. Environmental Impact
2.5.1 The water quality at the proposed open channel for storm water drain is an issue of concern and contingency plan must be provided for any possible odour problem, bearing in mind that expedient connections to the stormwater drainage system upstream are widespread.
2.5.2 We understand that under the current EIA Ordinance, a detailed EIA will be included in the feasibility study to examine the impact during construction and at each stage of the development. Environmental monitoring and mitigation measures forms part of the planning requirements for implementation.
2.5.3 It is noticed that a new sewage treatment plant has been provided adjacent the Kwun Tong Nullah for the development.
2.5.4 Energy efficiency of the development can be improved by the provision of central sea-water cooling system. Consideration to provide sea-water pumping chambers and outfall for SE Kowloon development for future use by developers is recommended.
2.5.5 The air-quality would be better when electrified mass railway system is used rather than using cars.
2.5.6 Further set back of the residential area from major roads is recommended and consideration to provide acoustic barriers are recommended at areas where sensitive noise receivers are identified to the extent without creating an eyesore and destroying the natural and physical environment.
29 October 1998