Following is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (July 11):
According to the New Territories small house policy, a New Territories male indigenous villager over 18 years old is entitled to one concessionary grant during his lifetime to build one small house (small house concessionary right). Lands zoned for "Village Type Development" (V zone lands) are primarily reserved for development of small houses. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of holders of unexercised small house concessionary right as at June 30 this year, and among them, (i) the number of those who had never lodged applications for building small houses and (ii) the number of those who were at the time residing abroad; the estimated number of those who might have the intention to lodge such applications in the coming decade; if such figures are not available, whether it will compile such statistics;
(2) of (i) the number of holders of unexercised small house concessionary right, and (ii) the respective numbers of applications for building small houses which were (a) received, (b) approved, (c) being processed and (d) rejected, by the Lands Department, in each of the past 10 years (set out in Table 1);
The Small House Policy has been implemented since 1972. Under the Policy, in general, a male indigenous villager aged 18 years old or above who is descended through the male line from a resident in 1898 of a recognised village in the New Territories may apply to the Government once during his lifetime for permission to build for himself a small house on a suitable site within his own village.
My reply to various parts of the question is as follows:
(1) The Lands Department (LandsD) does not have statistics on the number of indigenous villagers in the New Territories nor the number of those eligible for applying for small house grants.
The demand for small houses may change with factors such as the birth and growth of indigenous villagers, and whether or not an indigenous villager will apply for a small house grant depends on his own circumstances and wishes, while not all eligible indigenous villagers aged 18 years old or above will submit an application. Therefore, the Government does not project the number of small house applications in the next 10 years.
(2) As mentioned in (1) above, LandsD does not have statistics on the number of indigenous villagers in the New Territories nor the number of those eligible for applying for small house grants.
A breakdown in the numbers of small house applications received, approved, rejected and being processed by LandsD in the past 10 years is set out below.
|Year||Number of small house applications received||Number of small house applications approved||Number of small house applications rejected||Number of small house applications being processed
(as at year end)
|2008||1 810||958||668||7 613|
|2009||1 769||1 290||780||7 304|
|2010||1 959||1 474||999||6 890|
|2011||2 374||1 041||1 042||6 895|
|2012||2 690||1 121||1 190||7 175|
|2013||2 566||1 011||980||7 176|
|2014||2 522||1 114||1 193||8 569|
|2015||2 547||989||1 263||8 800|
|2016||1 297||858||1 080||9 145|
|2017||1 129||818||1 061||8 548|
|Total||20 663||10 674||10 256||Not applicable|
|Year||Number of small houses completed with CCs issued|
|Year||Total land area of V zones (hectares) (about)|
Increase in the land zoned V mainly reflects existing villages previously not yet covered by any statutory plans.
Land under V zones on statutory plans is scattered across the territory and covers existing and recognised villages in the New Territories. Many small houses are built on land under private ownership, and the size of individual pieces of private land varies. In addition, whether the development of small house may indeed proceed on a particular site within the V zone would depend on the fulfillment of engineering and other conditions as required. As such, the Government does not have readily available information on the total area of land available for small house developments in these V zones.
Under the existing policy, each small house can have a roofed-over area of not exceeding 65.03 square metres. However, the area of land granted for a small house is subject to such constraints as the topography, condition and area of the small house site under application. As such, the area of land granted for individual small house development may vary from case to case. LandsD has no readily available statistics on the area of land on which small houses had been built (regardless of the zoning of land for various planning uses).
(5) In accordance with the existing policy, alienation of small houses before the issue of CCs is generally prohibited. If, after approval of his application and completion of a small house, a small house applicant intends to transfer ownership of his small house, he is required under the applicable alienation restriction to make an application to LandsD. If the application is approved, he is required to pay the necessary land premium. The number of approved cases for removal of alienation restriction by LandsD in the past 10 years is set out below.
|Year||Number of approved cases for removal of restriction on alienation|
Since a small house applicant may transfer the ownership of his small house after LandsD's approval for his application for removing the applicable alienation restriction and his payment of the necessary land premium, and the transfer of ownership concerned is a private transaction of the small house applicant, LandsD does not have statistics on the number of small houses transacted.
Ends/Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:26