Policy

HARBOURFRONT COMMISSION TO CEDE PRIME HARBOURFRONT LAND TO POLICE FOR CAR PARK

Illegally parked skips line the waterfront at Western Fire Services Street, adjacent to Central Police Station and next to the new proposed police car park

The Harbourfront Commission will today likely rubber-stamp a proposal from police to turn a 4,240-square-foot plot of waterfront land near Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park into a police car park.

Map showing a car park proposed by pan-dem district councillors, on so-called idle land on the waterfront

This waterfront spot will become a police car park for at least five years, with support from the Task Force on Harbourfront Developments on Hong Kong Island

The plan comes as Western Police Station on Des Voeux Road West undergoes a $2 billion, 7-year renovation, which will reduce space for police parking and the force’s emergency equipment storage.

Police proposed to take the unused harbourfront plot at Western Fire Services Street for an initial five years, to store cars, vans and other equipment as required. They say it is only a “five minute drive” from Western Police Station and that there is no other suitable government land in Sheung Wan.

Members of the Task Force on Harbourfront Developments on Hong Kong Island, who vetted the proposal, say they support the proposal, although they suggest “basic beautification works such as the installation of decent fencing for the site”.

Central Police Station staff smoking area, across the street from the proposed car park. But Harbourfront Commission trusts police will “beautify” the security for its new waterfront car park

“[Hong Kong Police Force] will coordinate with Architectural Services Department on the provision of high quality fences and manual vehicular gate with appropriate beautification measures to mitigate the adverse visual impacts arise from the current rusting structure at the Site,” says a Task Force briefing to be introduced to the Harbourfront Commission meeting today.

Police say their vehicles will travel between the site and Western Police Station “several times a day and no vehicles are expected to queue and wait outside the Site.”

They say Transport Department has no objection and that the new car park will have no adverse impact on traffic in the area.

Former district Councillors Napo Wong Weng Chi and Sam Yip Kam-lung had, while in office, proposed to turn the site into a parking lot for commercial vehicles, but this plan had not been approved.

The adjacent Western Fire Services Street has become a de facto truck and skip storage site, with dozens of trucks, coaches, cars and skips lining the waterfront pavement daily.

The Task Force recommending the project is chaired by Ivan Ho Man-yiu, a board member of Hong Kong Green Business Council. Ho is also a technical advisor to the new “Site 3” Central Harbourfront Site development.

Members of the Harbourfront Commission or Task Force could not be reached for comment.

The meeting to approve the police plan will be held today at 3pm.

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