Non-in-situ land exchange for King Yin Lei approvedThe Chief Executive in Council today (December 2) approved a non-in-situ land exchange with the private owner of King Yin Lei at 45 Stubbs Road in order to preserve the historic building for revitalisation.
King Yin Lei was declared a monument on July 11, 2008. Under the approved land exchange, the owner of King Yin Lei will surrender the mansion and the entire site to the Government for preservation and revitalisation, while the Government will grant simultaneously an adjacent lot of the same size to the owner for private residential development.
A spokesperson for the Development Bureau said that this was the first case of suitable economic incentives offered by the Government to facilitate preservation of historic buildings in private ownership since the announcement of the heritage conservation policy in the Chief Executive’s 2007-08 Policy Address.
"In implementing this policy, we have to strike a proper balance between protection of historic buildings and respect for private property rights. The case of King Yin Lei demonstrates Government’s commitment in heritage conservation," the spokesperson said.
The new lot to be granted to the owner is a man-made slope with little vegetation upon completion of some slope stabilisation works in 2002. The lot is 4,705.5 square metres in size, which is the same as the King Yin Lei site. The owner plans to construct five residential houses on the new lot within the permissible plot ratio of 0.5, subject to a maximum building height of three storeys and 170 metres above Principal Datum. The new site is subject to similar development restrictions as those previously applicable to the existing lot. The proposed development will not adversely affect the traffic of the area. It also will not generate any adverse impact on the landscape and greenery of the area, or the vista of the neighbourhood.
At its meeting today, the Executive Council also approved amendments to The Peak Area Outline Zoning Plan which include rezoning the King Yin Lei lot from "Residential (Group C) 1" to "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Historical Building Preserved for Cultural, Community and Commercial Uses", and the new site from "Green Belt" to "Residential (Group C) 5" to facilitate the implementation of the preservation option. The rezoning has gone through the proper town planning process under the Town Planning Ordinance.
"Beside paying full market value premium for the land exchange in accordance with the established policy, the owner is required to carry out and fund the restoration works of King Yin Lei to the satisfaction of the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) under the land exchange arrangement," the spokesperson said.
The restoration works have already commenced under the supervision of the AMO and Professor Tang Guohua of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning of Guangzhou University. The first phase covering the restoration of the roof tiles is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2009, while the second phase covering the external walls and internal decoration is expected to be completed in 2010.
After King Yin Lei is surrendered to the Government, the Government will put it to adaptive re-use and revitalise it into an attraction for local residents as well as tourists.
"We understand that the public is eager to visit the site and the mansion to appreciate its architecture and to learn about its history. The Government will consult the public in devising suitable proposals for its revitalisation," the spokesperson added.
Ends/Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Issued at HKT 14:30