Following is a question by the Hon Alan Leong and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (December 15):
Given that some private lands have been zoned for provision of communal facilities and the land leases concerned have stipulated that the Government may resume the lands on grounds that they have ceased to be used for the permitted uses for over 12 months, will the Government inform this Council of the respective numbers of applications made, since 1 July 1997, by the owners of such lands:
(a) to the Town Planning Board (TPB) for rezoning these lands for residential uses; the respective numbers of applications approved and rejected by the TPB, the location and area of the land involved in each application as well as the date on which the TPB made the relevant decision; and
(b) to the Lands Department for lease modifications to allow residential developments to be undertaken; the respective numbers of applications approved and rejected, the location of the land involved in each application and the floor area of the residential project, as well as the amount of land premium required?
My reply to the 2-part question is as follows:
(a) Since July 1, 1997, the Town Planning Board (TPB) has altogether received two applications for rezoning land to residential use, with respect to two sites designated for the provision of public utilities, and the lease conditions stipulate that Government can take back the sites if these have ceased to be used for the permitted uses. One application has been rejected by the TPB while consideration of the other by the TPB has been rescheduled at the request of the applicant, and a date has yet to be fixed. Details of the rejected application are as follows:
Lot No.: New Kowloon Inland Lot No. 5218 and 5934
Location: Yuet Lun Street, Lai Chi Kok
Site Area: 6,433 square metres
OZP No.: S/K16/6
Original Use: Telecommunications Building
Request: To be rezoned to "Comprehensive Development Area"
TPB Date of Meeting: March 3, 2000
The applicant intended to carry out residential development on the site in Yuet Lun Street. However, the rezoning proposal was not in line with the planning intention of the zone, and the site would be required to provide telecommunications expansion services to cater for the needs of the neighboring areas and the future development of West Kowloon. Moreover, the TPB considered the traffic impact arising from the rezoning unacceptable.
Details of the other application are as follows:
Lot No.: Ap Lei Chau Marine Lot No. 63
Location: Lee Nam Road, Ap Lei Chau
Site Area: 9,892 square metres
OZP No.: S/H15/20
Original Use: Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Oil Products Transit Depot
Request: To be rezoned to "Residential (Group A)"
(b) Since July 1, 1997, the Lands Department has received only one application for lease modification to allow residential developments to be undertaken, with respect to a site granted for the provision of public utilities, and the lease conditions stipulate that Government can take back the site if it has ceased to be used for the permitted uses. Details of the application are as follows:
Lot No.: New Kowloon Inland Lot No. 5572
Location: Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei
Site Area: 1,115 square metres
Term: up to June 28, 2025
Grantee: PCCW (formerly the Hong Kong Telecom)
Permitted Uses: Telephone exchange, ancillary office and staff quarters
It was the intention of the grantee to carry out comprehensive development of the site. The site was situated in an area zoned "Residential (Group A)". In 1999, the grantee submitted a planning application to the TPB for the proposed comprehensive development. In September of the same year, the grantee submitted an application for lease modification which was rejected by the Lands Department on August 6, 2001, based on the ground that there was still demand for the telephone exchange.
In order to reflect the actual intention of the existing land use of the site, the TPB later rezoned the site from "Residential (Group A)" to "Government, Institution or Community". According to the amended Outline Zoning Plan, an application for planning permission should be submitted to the TPB for any proposed residential development on the site. The TPB will process and consider any such application in accordance with the Town Planning Ordinance.
Ends/Wednesday, December 15, 2004