The House News
15th April 2013
<PLA Military Berth Almost Completed Before Consultation Period Ends>
According to InMedia’s report, the consultation period of Central Promenade’s land use change is yet to end, and yet the berth for People’s Liberation Army is almost completed.
Although the consultation period for the revised outline plan for Central pier ends today (14th April), a single-storey facility has been completed on the site, currently surrounded by boards. Protective pillars for anchoring alongside the shore have been built, and a large number of floats have been placed at the site. An 18-metre wide “military passageway” connecting the berth and the PLA headquarters has also been completed – brick tiles are laid on the ground whilst either side of the passageway is just dirt. It seems like the Hong Kong SAR government was very confident that the revised plan would be approved and decided to start building a series of facilities for the PLA berth ahead of time.
When the Hong Kong SAR government tore down the Star Ferry Pier and Queen’s Pier in 2006 and started to reclaim land to build a new Central Promenade, it consistently branded the project a “harbour for the people” where the people of Hong Kong would be able to use the promenade from Central all the way to North Point. However in February 2013, the government secretively submitted an application to the Town Planning Board seeking approval for a change of land use to build a 150 metre long new promenade outside the current PLA headquarters – converting it from a plot of land allowing occasional pier access for the PLA, to a plot of permanent military land. The consultation period on the change ends today (15th April 2013), but the public did not know about this proposed change until AM730, a Hong Kong Cantonese language paper, published a story on 14th April 2013.
Chu Hoi-dick, an activist in Hong Kong who actively participates in demonstrations including the “Protect Queen’s Pier” campaign and who is the Chairman of InMedia, wrote an article in 2007 explaining that the PLA already has a number of plots of land across Hong Kong and has no need for another military base in Central.
Chu said that a PLA marine base is under construction in the south of Stonecutters Island to replace the soon-to-be-torn-down Tamar marine base. The PLA has absolutely no need to have a military berth in the heart of Central. Chu also pointed out in his article that the PLA took over 2,000 hectare of military land – including at Stanley peninsula, and the Shek Kong barracks in the North-west New Territories – and these spaces are scarcely used. Some lawmakers have already demanded the PLA release these plots of land for public use, but the PLA has refused to release the camps they rarely use, and demanded the Town Planning Board to change the land use of the Central Promenade. This is overbearing.
Other released pieces can be found in these links:The Real Hong Kong News: PLA Takes Lands in Central