Among a total of around 1 600 hectares of brownfield sites in the New Territories, around 60 percent will gradually be developed for high-density housing and other uses, due to reasons such as being located within development areas, or the open-air operations thereon are incompatible with the environment and development of the neighbourhood etc. Through development, we hope to make better use of these precious land resources and enhance land use efficiency of these sites. Over the years, the Government has resumed and cleared about 30 hectares of brownfield sites for various development projects, involving around 400 affected brownfield operators. Looking ahead from now till 2026, we expect another 200 hectares of brownfield sites to be gradually resumed and cleared by the Government.
Apart from providing monetary compensation to business operators affected by the Government’s clearance projects, we will also proactively provide various administrative support to appropriately assist the operators. Today, I have invited colleagues from the Development Bureau (DEVB) and the Lands Department (LandsD) to introduce the measures adopted to assist the affected operators. Two operators will also share with us their experience in relocating their operations.
Reaching out to affected operators at the soonest possible juncture
Assistant Director of the LandsD, Ms CHIU Lee-lee, Lily, says that to allow sufficient time for the affected operators to make relocation arrangements, colleagues from the LandsD will reach out to the affected operators at the soonest possible juncture, providing them with a more concrete departure timeframe and the various means of assistance the Government could offer, such that the operators can plan ahead according to their needs.
Providing advice on planning and land matters
If operators wish to relocate their operations to other private land, such operations would need to be in conformity with the planned use of the site concerned. The operators may also need to make necessary applications to the Town Planning Board and the LandsD, and submit development proposals and relevant technical assessments to support their relocation plan. This may involve issues such as land use compatibility, traffic arrangement and environmental mitigation measures, falling under the purview of various Government departments.
The Principal Assistant Secretary of the DEVB, Mr YUEN Shing-yip, Kepler, says that to facilitate the affected operators, the DEVB has strengthened the supervision and coordination of the work of various Government departments in providing advice on planning and land matters to operators who wish to relocate their operations to other private land. Since 2019, the Government has assisted over 20 operators (including industries such as logistics, vehicles repairing, timber production and construction, etc.) in obtaining planning permission. The LandsD has also granted waivers to 17 operators to erect structures on their relocation sites.
Some operators have expressed difficulties in identifying private land for relocation. In this relation, the DEVB is also stepping up the consolidation of information for operators’ reference regarding sites that are more likely feasible in accommodating brownfield operations. Our target is to provide such information within the first quarter of 2023.
Operators express gratitude for Government’s assistance
Ms POON is the operator of a wood material supplier, whom operation was originally situated in the Kwu Tung North New Development Area (NDA). Ms POON says that during the process of her relocation, the DEVB, Planning Department (PlanD), LandsD and other relevant departments have all along provided advice on planning and land matters, and have expedited relevant application processes by coordinating the work of various departments. The construction work of her new site is almost completed, and she expresses gratitude for the Government’s assistance such that she could continue her business at the new site.
Mr TONG, operator of a storage yard for construction equipment at Yick Yuen, Hung Shui Kiu, says that they have submitted planning application to the Town Planning Board and obtained planning approval last year with the assistance of the DEVB. He thinks that the Government is committed in providing assistance to his case. The relevant departments have been providing assistance to clarify and sort out detailed matters for the compliance with planning approval conditions, while the LandsD is also actively processing the application for a short-term waiver. He is looking forward to continuing his operation at the new site at the soonest.
Letting of land under short-term tenancy specifically to affected operators
Apart from private land, Ms Lily CHIU supplements that the LandsD has also been identifying more suitable government land for letting specifically to the affected operators by way of short-term tenancy through restricted tender. In the past two years, the LandsD has granted eight sites with a total area of about 18 500 square metres. Amongst them, some of the operators affected by the Kwu Tung North/Fanling North NDA, Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen NDA and Yuen Long South Development Area projects have succeeded in leasing these sites and have already commenced the tenancy. The tender process of another three sites with a total area of about 4 500 square metres is also completed and will be handed over to the successful tenderers in February this year.
Development of multi-storey buildings for modern industries
The Under Secretary for Development, Mr LAM Chi-man, David, says that other than the measures above, the Government will also take forward the development of multi-storey buildings (MSB) for modern industries, so as to assist affected operators to operate in a more land-efficient manner and facilitate their upgrading. The Government will commence the tendering of the first batch of five sites at Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long starting this year. Going forward, more MSB sites will be planned at other development areas.
Providing monetary compensation in parallel with facilitation service
Our team will continue to implement the multi-pronged measures to take forward the policy directive of “providing monetary compensation in parallel with facilitation service”, and step up the handling of cases to provide the necessary assistance to operators.
5 February, 2023Back