LCQ10: Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance
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 (May 23):
Will the Government inform this Council of the total number of ordinances and regulations governing the construction of buildings on New Territories village lots enacted since the implementation of the Block Crown Lease procedure to re-rent land lots to their original owners by way of land leases, thereby rendering the land owners no longer holding the titles to the relevant land lots in perpetuity, together with a list of the said ordinances and regulations in chronological order of their enactment, the contents of the relevant provisions, which have subsequently been amended, according to the amendment date, and a comparison of the amendments with the respective previous versions of the provisions concerned?
The Buildings Ordinance (BO) (Cap. 123) governs the planning, design and construction of buildings and the associated works in Hong Kong. When the BO was enacted in 1955, its application was confined to "Hong Kong, Aplichau, Kowloon and New Kowloon". Since January 1, 1961, the BO has been applied to the New Territories (NT) in the manner provided by the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance (then Cap. 322, replaced by Cap. 121 in 1987).
Section 3 of the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance which came into effect on January 1, 1961 stipulated that "on the commencement of this Ordinance, the principal Ordinance shall apply, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, to the New Territories". Section 4(1) of the Ordinance empowered the Governor in Council to make regulations on the details concerning the application of the BO to the NT.
The Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Regulations, made under the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance, also came into effect on January 1, 1961. Section 2 of the Regulations stipulated that the provisions of specified sections of the BO and the regulations made under the BO shall not apply to building works for the erection, alteration or demolition of any of the following buildings situated in the NT:
(1) any dwelling house which:
(a) has, or, when erected or altered, will have, a roofed over area not exceeding 700 square feet; and
(b)is not, or, when erected or altered, will not be:
(i) more than 15 feet in height, or
(ii) where no structural reinforced concrete was or will be used in its construction, more than 25 feet in height;
(2) any building which is not, or, when erected or altered, will not be, more than 15 feet in height and which is, or, when erected or altered, will be, used solely for agricultural purposes.
The Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Regulations were amended on several occasions between 1961 and 1987. The major amendments which concern New Territories Exempted Houses included:
* in 1972, the height restriction of exempted houses with a roofed over area not exceeding 700 square feet and where structural reinforced concrete was used in construction was raised from 15 feet to 25 feet;
* in 1976, the original imperial measurements of the roofed over areas and height restrictions of various types of exempted houses were replaced by metric measurements; and
* in 1981, the measurements of roofed over areas and height restrictions were refined to restore the exact metric equivalent of the original imperial measurements.
The Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance (then Cap. 322) and the Regulations made under it were replaced by the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance (Cap. 121) on October 16, 1987. The new Ordinance preserved the exemption for eligible buildings in the NT and raised the height restriction for qualified New Territories Exempted Houses from 7.62 metres (25 feet) to 8.23 metres (27 feet). The new Ordinance also empowered the Director of Lands to issue Certificates of Exemption, so that the eligible NT buildings and the associated construction works could be exempted from the specified provisions of the BO and the regulations made under the BO.
The Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance was slightly amended in 1993, 1999 and 2008. Details of the amendments are as follows:
* in 1993, the term "the Director of Buildings and Lands" contained in the definition of "Director" was revised to "the Director of Lands";
* in 1999, the term "District Boards" contained in the definition of "District" was revised to "District Councils"; and
* in 2008, eligible buildings in NT were exempted from section 9AA of the BO concerning the appointment of prescribed registered contractors.
Ends/Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:31