Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront enhancement plan faces opposition

August 11, 2015 13:08
Businesses and civic groups have expressed reservations about the government's plan to add more attractions to the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront area. Photo: CNSA

A proposal to add more attractions in the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront area, including the Avenue of Stars that stretches for nearly half a kilometer along the waterfront, has met with strong opposition from the public as well as hotels and shops in the neighborhood, Sky Post reported.

Under a project outlined by the government, new facilities that can provide a combined space of 86,000 square feet will be built in the area. The attractions will include restaurants, retail shops and some new facilities for rest and recreation.

However, construction work will require the promenade area to be closed for up to three years. This has prompted existing shop operators in the area to object to the proposal.

The Town Planning Board is said to have received 337 letters from people expressing opposition to the project. Some petitioners called for more precise evaluations on the project before any work is begun.

Some civic groups, including the Tsim Sha Tsui Residents Concern Group, were meanwhile unhappy with the planned cutting or transplantation of trees in the area. Concerns were also voiced that the new facilities could lead to potential traffic congestion.

Luxury hotel Kowloon Shangri-La said it strongly opposes the construction of an exhibition venue and an observation deck opposite the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre as the facilities might block the view from some of its guest rooms.

Sino Property Services, which manages both the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre and the Empire Centre, said it is "unacceptable" that opinions of residents in East Tsim Sha Tsui have not been sought.

However, New World Development, which manages the Avenue of Stars, claimed it has been told by some people that the project can enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness and competitiveness.

The government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department, on its part, said that it has received positive feedback from consultations with the local district council.

The Town Planning Board is due to hold a meeting on August 21 to discuss the planned project.

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