Designing Hong Kong has submitted a planning application to the Town Planning Board for a public marine center in Tolo Harbour.
The proposal calls for a dry stack for 200 boats and a floating pontoon system for 400 boats at Pak Shek Kok, partially in front of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. The estimated cost is around HK$200million.
The marine centre will offer affordable mooring of boats, opening up the waters of Tolo Harbour to the community for marine tourism, leisure, recreation, and water sports activities. These activities offer new job opportunities for fishermen displaced by the trawling ban. The man-made shoreline was selected to minimize the ecological impact of building waterfront facilities. The adjacent Science Park offers convenient public transport, and ample parking, retail and restaurant facilities.
“The Hong Kong community deserves public marine centres where they can store boats cheaply. Hong Kong has a spectacular 1,000km coastline, 280 islands, blue waters and white sand beaches. However, boating is restricted to the super rich who can afford a private marina. Facilities are needed for the public to keep boats and water sports equipment safe at a low cost. After all, a surfboard does not fit in your home, you can’t take it on the minibus, you can’t take it on the MTR and few people can afford a car,” said Paul Zimmerman, CEO, Designing Hong Kong Limited.
Pak Shek Kok is one of several locations identified for new facilities in Designing Hong Kong’s research ‘Vibrant Harbours – Water Activation Projects’. Site selection criteria include minimal ecological impacts, presence of leisure marine activities, available land, road access and minimal impact on commercial marine traffic.
The application by Designing Hong Kong, Y/PSK/1, proposes the zoning of a remaining waterfront site at Pak Shek Kok as “Other Specified Uses (Marine Centre)” and “Open Space”. The public can submit comments to the Town Planning Board until 22 February 2013. The same site is proposed to be zoned Residential (Group B) in the new draft Outline Zoning Plan S/PSK/10 for Pak Shek Kok (East) which is open for public comments until 18 March 2013. Designing Hong Kong does not consider this a conflict, as both plans can be combined.
“Implementation of the Public Marine Centre in Tolo Harbour will be a matter of Government to decide on. One option is to include the construction of the marine centre as a ‘Built-Transfer’ requirement with future residential land sales at Pak Shek Kok. Once built, the facilities can be operated by existing or new not-for-profit organisations,” Paul Zimmerman explained.
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