Who's pranking who? A light-hearted take on DB's development plans
- Written by Peter Sherwood, 1 April 2017
DB’s favourite serial griper, Peter Sherwood, makes an unexpected case for the resort’s further development.
I sneaked another look at development plans for DB, a sort of clandestine wikipeek, and discovered a strategy of extraordinary vision, clarity, creativity and common sense. A 13-kilometre cable car from Disneyland to Sunset Peak is proposed, with a shopping stop-off in Discovery Bay, as the spacious plaza makes way for a new ‘outlets’ mall.
This futuristic concept will also cater to 120 busloads of tourists a day, direct from the new Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Which in fact makes perfect sense – you don’t have to be a town planning guru to see that DB Plaza is a criminal waste of space. I can hear the local objectors now, bleating residents crying ‘foul’ in their unwillingness to sacrifice a little peace and tranquillity for the greater economic good. Such is progress.
For the greater good
That tired cliché, ‘In Hong Kong space is at a premium’, must be on a loop in the brain of whoever gave planning permission for a major architectural first – a 33-floor hotel built on a massive podium high above DB Marina. The world’s leading designers are competing to construct this exciting new structure, which will guarantee Hong Kong’s image as a world leader in... something or other. Anyway, it should get plenty of free media play and keep the Hong Kong Tourism Board happy.
There’ll be no more direct sunlight for the marina residents below, of course, so we can expect the usual whining letters to the press. I questioned the cutting-edge hotel proposal myself and was told that what the boat people lose in sunshine they will gain in overhead protection – tropical drenchings being a thing of the past. That seems fair.
I mentioned the enlightened new proposition to the owner of a 65 foot, three-deck yacht. Disbelieving at first, he selfishly debated the impact of such a wonderful icon on the value of his vessel. I explained (to no avail) that it was strictly for his benefit. Most luxury tub-owners never leave their enclosure, so having a concrete roof over their heads will encourage them to get out of the dark on weekends. They will hightail it for some fresh air, though they may not find much once the super-incinerator off Shek Kwu Chau is up and running.
There will always be those for whom every forward step is viewed as blight on the landscape, contributing to the demise of their prized, pristine environment. Naturally, any wails of concern will be taken into account – before being summarily dismissed as the histrionic outpourings of a bunch of sentimental tree-huggers. But then if things in DB were cavalierly democratic, nothing would ever get done.
As for the thrilling prospect of a multi-level golf driving range above DB Reservoir, that will accommodate 8,888 mainland punters in a single session, reactionary residents are suggesting (rather absurdly) that it could be the mother of all white elephants. Meanwhile... Happy April Fools’ Day!
Peter Sherwood has lived in DB for 18 years. The former head of an international public relations firm, Peter is the author of 15 books and he has written around 400 satirical columns for the South China Morning Post.