As announced in the Policy Address of October 2017, the Government has decided after an extensive site search to make available Site 5 of the new Central Harbourfront and the site south of Site 5 (the south site) for the development of a Judicial Complex for the High Court (JCHC) to reprovision the existing High Court Building. The development of the south site, where the existing Harcourt Road fresh water pumping station site is located, is subject to particularly serious constraints. The site is highly irregular in shape. The MTR Shatin-to-Central Link tunnels now under construction, as well as the existing underground high-voltage power cables and service/maintenance access connected to the adjoining power substations, are traversing major parts of the south site area. As the existing fresh water pumping station building is centrally located over the buildable area, the fresh water pumping station has to be relocated before any major building development can proceed. Moreover, uninterrupted operation of the fresh water pumping station must be maintained throughout the construction works of the JCHC. In–situ reprovisioning of the fresh water pumping station will still require to build a temporary fresh water pumping station nearby and relocate it back to this site. Furthermore, the JCHC is subject to very stringent and complex technical and operational requirements. If the fresh water pumping station was to be reprovisioned within the JCHC, it would occupy a substantial area of the ground and podium levels critical for the core facilities of the JCHC. This would be detrimental to the effective layout planning of the JCHC and will seriously restrict the long term accommodation needs of Courts at High Court levels. Such arrangement would also impose disproportioned constraints and adverse impacts on the overall development. The Government therefore see a genuine need to relocate the existing fresh water pumping station from the south site permanently.
The concerned fresh water pumping station is an important and critical infrastructure for supplying fresh water to Wan Chai District and Central and Western District. The new site for the fresh water pumping station has to be located within the area for operational need. After considering various factors and constraints such as sufficiency of space, impact to traffic, distribution of existing underground utilities, railway and road tunnels etc., we concluded that permanent relocation of the fresh water pumping station to Lockhart Road Playground is the best viable option.
The current plan of the Water Supplies Department (WSD) is to relocate the fresh water pumping station to part of the site of the existing Lockhart Road Playground. To address recreational needs of the local residents, WSD has been working with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to develop an integrated leisure facilities-cum-pumping station development scheme which will not only accommodate the pumping facilities but also provide a revamped playground to better serve the public.
Site Selection Criteria
The choice of a suitable site for the reprovisioning of Harcourt Road fresh water pumping station is subject to the following consideration:
The new pumping station will receive fresh water transferred from the network on the Kowloon side. Its level should not be too high, otherwise fresh water from the Kowloon side will not have enough water pressure to reach the new pumping station;
The new pumping station should be connected to the exiting trunk mains in order to receive fresh water and pump water to the existing service reservoirs, thus the new pumping station should not be too far from the existing trunk mains and delivery mains; and
The proposed mainlaying works for connecting to the existing supply networks will not impose significant impact on the traffic in the vicinity.
Based on the above requirements, the concerned departments have looked for different choices for the relocation sites. The final chosen site is located on Lockhart Road.
The following sites had also been considered for the reprovisioning of fresh water pumping station:
(1) The former site of Hong Kong Red Cross Headquarters – Due to technical constraints arising from the presence of a significant number of cables as well as sewage and storm water disposal facilities in the vicinity, the site could not provide sufficient space for the reprovisioning of the fresh water pumping station;
(2) The open area to the east of Harcourt Road Fresh Water Pumping Station – Since the location was constrained by a MTR tunnel at the northern area of the site and congested underground cables at the southern area of the site. WSD considered that the available space was not large enough to reprovision the fresh water pumping station in the area;
(3) The open area near the western boundary of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts – Since part of the area was privately owned, WSD did not consider the reprovisioning of the fresh water pumping station at the location concerned;
(4) Harcourt Garden – The garden has been rebuilt under the MTR Admiralty Station extension works for accommodating the Shatin-to-Central Link and the South Island Line (East). Reprovisioning of the fresh water pumping station to this location is not feasible;
(5) The public toilet in the Hong Kong Park – In view of the possible impact of the mainlaying works on the operation of the park and the traffic in the vicinity of Justice Drive and Supreme Court Road, WSD considered the location unsuitable for the reprovisioning of the fresh water pumping station;
(6) The restaurant in Hong Kong Park – The location situates at the heart of Hong Kong Park. In view of the significant impact of the mainlaying works on the operation of Hong Kong Park, WSD considered the location unsuitable for the reprovisioning of the fresh water pumping station;
(7) The area behind Central Fire Station – Though reprovisioning of the water pumping station at the location would have relatively small impact to the public, it would affect the old stone wall and over a hundred trees;