The operator of the Watermark restaurant at the Star Ferry pier in Central, has filed an application to privatize a 1,700 square foot public space and convert it into an al fresco dining area, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
The restaurant operator has put two proposals to the Town Planning Board.
One proposal is to convert an observation deck outside the restaurant’s northwest section into a waiting area and outdoor dining zone, turning what is now a public walk-through space into a private commercial area.
Under this proposal, a section of about 1,700 sq ft of an observation deck overlooking Victoria Harbour and Kowloon would be taken away from the public.
The other proposal would retain the observation deck but turn a section of a public area measuring about 1,000 sq ft to the west of the restaurant into a part of the eatery.
The restaurant operator said the additional income from the expansion of the restaurant would go into the non-ferry service income of The Star Ferry Co. and help alleviate the mounting pressure to raise ferry fares.
Katty Law Nga-ning, convener and co-founder of the Central & Western Concern Group, said the restaurant’s proposals were unreasonable, as they simply deprive the right of the public to access the observation deck.
Members of the public are welcome to submit their opinions by Jan. 12 to the Town Planning Board, which will discuss the proposals Feb. 5.
The board rejected proposals from Watermark last year.
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