Dozens of representatives from community organisations gathered outside a District Council meeting in protest of the government’s plans to turn the area into a “community garden.”

The location, governed by the Marine Department’s Cargo Handling Section, is popular among residents, pet owners and joggers in the area.

In her policy address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam mentioned that “a site” in Kennedy Town will be transformed into a community garden in the first quarter of 2018. The issue was also discussed in the District Council last year.

sai wan pier
Photo: In-Media.

The proposed short-term tenancy of the area means that nearly 80 per cent of berth areas 1-3 will be leased to NGOs for community garden purposes, leaving a 10 metre wide area for promenade use.

At Thursday’s District Council harbourfront working group meeting, District Officer Susanne Wong Ho Wing-sze said that the government is only planning to let out portion of the pier, not its entirety. She also said that the area is not officially open to public and that safety precautions must be considered, Apple Daily reported.

instagram pier hong kong (4)
“Instagram Pier.” Photo: Tom Grundy.

“Why don’t we get a better picture of the reality and let the residents decide whether they want to keep the pier, or have a community garden?” asked Democratic Party lawmaker and district councillor Ted Hui.

Newly elected district councillor Bonnie Ng said that if the government wants to set up a community garden, there should be a comprehensive consultation.

Photo: In-Media.

Last month, part of the pier was temporarily closed off to the public for a Taoist festival, with the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department as one of the supporting organisations.

The event generated large amounts of trash in the area, according to pictures posted on in a Facebook community group called “A Time of Change in Sai Wan.” Angry residents initially arranged for cleanups, but – after the issue was raised at Thursday’s meeting – the rubbish was cleared.

Karen cheung hong kong

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.