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LCQ9: Vetting and approving applications for the construction of small houses

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Wong-fat and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (November 26):

Question:

Some indigenous villagers in the New Territories have conveyed to me that they are dissatisfied with the slow progress of the Lands Department in vetting and approving applications for the construction of small houses at present.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following in the past three years:

(a) the respective numbers of applications approved for the construction of small houses each year, as well as applications on the waiting list;

(b) the annual number of applications for payment of additional premiums for the removal of the restriction on alienation clause from the land lease of a small house, and the total amount of premiums received in such applications; and

(c) the administration costs involved in processing the applications?

Reply:

President,

My reply to the three-part question is as follows:

(a) The annual numbers of applications for small houses approved by the Government and applications for small houses on the waiting list for the past three financial years are as follows:

 
Financial Year
 
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
Number of applications approved by the Government
919
1,083
1,267
Number of applications on the waiting list
2,902
3,597
3,068

(b) For the past three financial years, the Government has received 1,331 applications for the removal of the restriction on alienation clauses, and received a total premium of $1.13 billion in respect of cases for the removal of the restriction on alienation clauses.  Details are as follows:

 
Financial Year
 
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
Number of applications for the removal
of the restriction on alienation clauses
436
422
473
Total premium received in respect of cases
for the removal of the restriction on alienation clauses
$320
million
$370
million
$440
million

(c) The Lands Department does not have statistics on the administration costs for processing the applications for small houses.

Ends/Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Issued at HKT 14:30

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