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Blight on the harbour? Proposed plan to transform Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront triggers complaints

A proposal to rebuild the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront area has met resistance from nearby businesses who worry the ocean views from their premises will be blocked by some of the planned structures.

The proposal, put forward by the area’s management company New World Development (NWD), includes a 38,000-square-metre area covering Salisbury Garden, the Avenue of Stars and the TST Promenade.

In a document submitted to the Town Planning Board, the NWD said it aims to “revitalise” and “re-energise” the TST waterfront by building new facilities, which includes a wooden observation deck no more than 13 metres above ground in front of the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre.

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The planned wooden canopy in front of the TST Centre. Photo: Town Planning Board website.

The area will be used to display the history of Hong Kong’s movie industry. Visitors standing on the observation deck will also enjoy a “spectacular view of Victoria Harbour”, the document said.

Building floor plans show the observation deck stretches to cover more than half of the length of the TST Promenade, which means it could obscure the view from the TST Centre, the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel and other buildings nearby.

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Floor plan for the planned wooden observation deck. Photo: Town Planning Board website.

The hotel and the TST Centre are among the 337 businesses and members of the public to have sent a letter to the Town Planning Board expressing concerns about the proposal.

In its submission to the Town Planning Board, the Kowloon Shangri-La claimed the proposed structures will “obstruct public spaces.”

The NWD also plans to transform the Salisbury Garden into an “art and cultural gateway” hosting outdoor entertainment performances.

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A blue print for the new Salisbury Garden. Photo: Town Planning Board’s website

Other parts of the plan include structures under the Hung Hom Bypass flyover to “strengthen the connection between eastern TST and Hung Hom.”

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A blueprint for another observation deck near the Hung Hom Bypass flyover. Photo: Town Planning Board’s website

The Town Planning Board will have a meeting to discuss the proposal on August 21. A decision is likely to be made that day, a spokesman for the Board told HKFP.

If the proposal is approved by the government, parts of the area will be closed off periodically for construction. The NWD said in the proposal it will mobilise resources to cut down the construction time to around three years.

Update (Thursday 10:28am): The NWD told HKFP stakeholders it consulted were in support of the plan. The company said in an email it has gathered views from “members of the community and overseas visitors” on the issue. 

Blight on the harbour? Proposed plan to transform Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront triggers complaints