One of the government’s go-to engineering consultants Arup says reclamation of Victoria Harbour for new road links between Hong Kong Island and Carrie Lam’s Lantau metropolis is “fully justified” under the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, claiming the project will demonstrate “a compelling and overriding public need for reclamation”.
Arup made the claims in its Application for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study brief for the road project, one of three such applications released today relating to the Lantau Tomorrow project.
Under the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, and following a High Court ruling in 2003, developers wishing to reclaim any of Victoria Harbour must prove compelling, overriding and present need; no viable alternative and “minimum impairment”.
The proposed 14km link will feature around 9km of road and slip roads on sea viaducts, land viaducts, land tunnels and at-grade roads and will require both temporary and permanent reclamation where the road meets land at Kennedy Town.
The project will lead to “Permanent loss of landscape and visual amenity of the sea and natural environment at Northeast Lantau and the western Hong Kong Island” says the consultant’s EIA application.
The Protection of the Harbour Ordinance came under some attack recently, with outgoing lawmakers aiming to dismantle the law and loosen requirements for work in some parts of the harbour.