Saturday, June 18, 2005
Harbour lobby calls for halt to atrium expansion
Two harbour protection lobby groups have called on the Trade Development Council to stop the planned $1.3 billion expansion of the atrium at the convention and exhibition centre.
The groups - Designing Hong Kong Harbour District and Citizen Envisioning @ Harbour - said the expansion would severely damage the Wan Chai waterfront.
Meanwhile, members of the government's advisory Harbourfront Enhancement Committee have reportedly expressed concerns about the expansion - saying it may pre-empt public consultation on the Wan Chai and Causeway Bay waterfront.
Paul Zimmerman, convenor of Designing Hong Kong Harbour District, said: "The waterfront will never be the same: the sea view the public enjoys will be gone forever. It is against the integrated harbour-planning principle."
The proposed extension of the annex highlighted the lack of co-ordination in the government on developments affecting the waterfront, he said.
The Executive Council's approval of the plan was announced on Thursday.
The trade council's plan calls for the atrium to be enlarged to make room for three levels of exhibition space, making the waterfront part of the convention centre. The proposal will be submitted to the Town Planning Board next week.
If the blueprint is approved, construction could start next year and be completed in 2009. The trade council has said the work will not involve reclamation, and has lobbied hard for more space to meet the demand for exhibitions.
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Published in the South China Morning Post. Copyright (C) 2005. All rights reserved.