Following is a question by the Hon To Kun-sun and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (March 28):
I have learnt that when private developers submit their planning applications and applications concerning building development to the Town Planning Board and the Government, the developers concerned or the Government may propose to include community facility works in the projects or other additional conditions in order to bring extra benefits. Taking West Kowloon Reclamation Area as an example, it is stipulated in the land leases of many large estates there that the developers must develop parks and other facilities which are open to the public. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) among the land purchase transactions and applications for change of land use made by private developers in each of the past five years, of the respective numbers of cases which involved the above additional conditions, the locations concerned, and the details of such additional conditions;
(b) of the criteria based on which the Government determines whether such additional conditions will be included in a land lease; why the land lease of Long Beach in Tai Kok Tsui requires the developer concerned to construct a sitting-out area on the adjacent land of that estate, but the land lease of Metro Harbour View in the same district does not have such additional condition, and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department had to apply for funds to construct sitting-out facilities on the adjacent land of that estate;
(c) given that the developer of Long Beach did not open the sitting-out area concerned to the public until it had obtained the Certificate of Compliance for a period of time, whether the Government has drawn up guidelines to require developers to open such facilities to the public within a specific period of time after they have obtained the relevant Certificates of Compliance, and whether it has drawn up requirements, including those relating to the opening hours and the facilities provided, concerning the developers' obligations in managing the facilities concerned; and
(d) as some of the facilities, such as transport interchanges, constructed pursuant to the above additional conditions are managed by the Transport Department, while some others, such as parks, by the developers concerned, how the Government decides on the parties responsible for managing such facilities?
Under the Town Planning Ordinance, developers wishing to pursue developments listed under Column 2 uses of the Outline Zoning Plan, such as residential developments in areas zoned "Comprehensive Development Area" or "Government, Institution or Community", are required to apply to the Town Planning Board (TPB) for approval. During the processing of an application by the TPB, the developer or relevant Government department(s) may propose the inclusion of certain community facilities in the proposed developments having regard to district needs. If the application is approved by the TPB and the provision of the community facilities is included as a condition of the planning permission, the Lands Department will in the processing of the relevant application for lease modification include, where appropriate, in the land lease the requirement for the provision of the concerned community facilities.
As a general practise, in the preparation of conditions of sale and the processing of applications for lease modifications, relevant Government department(s) may also propose the provision of certain community facilities in the proposed development having regard to district needs. The Administration will consider whether such proposal would help to address or alleviate the shortfall of concerned facilities within the district or whether, in the light of the timing, location and layout of the proposed development, it would be more effective and timely for the developer instead of the Government to provide such facilities to meet the community needs. If it is decided that the provision of such community facilities is in the public interest, the Lands Department will include as appropriate suitable provisions in the land lease.
My reply to the question is as follows:
(a) The Lands Department is unable to provide the information requested in the question, as our records on land leases are not filed on the basis of such classification.
(b) I have explained above the considerations taken into account when determining whether the requirement on the provision of community facilities will be included in relevant land leases. Details regarding the arrangements on the cases of Long Beach and Metro Harbour View are provided below.
Following consultation and decision within the Administration, the Lands Department included provisions in the conditions of sale for Long Beach requiring the developer to form, manage and maintain an adjoining Government land so as to allow access by the public to and from the public landing steps by the seaside. There is no requirement for the developer to construct a sitting-out area.
In the case of Metro Harbour View, the Lands Department included provisions in the conditions of exchange, when approving the land exchange application, requiring the developer to construct and maintain public open space of not less than 9,800 square metres within the lot and to keep it open for public use at such hours as the Director of Lands may require.
Separately, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has planned to provide recreational facilities on another site adjoining the Metro Harbour View so as to alleviate the shortfall of public open spaces and facilities in Tai Kok Tsui and the West Kowloon Reclamation Area.
(c) When the developer should open the concerned community facilities required under the land lease to the public is subject to the provisions under the land lease, and is not directly related to the date of issuance of the Certificate of Compliance.
(d) In general, community facilities constructed by Government departments with Government funding will be managed and maintained by the Government departments concerned. For those facilities which are constructed by the developer at his/her own cost, these will generally be managed and maintained by the developer or owners of the development unless otherwise specified.
Ends/Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:46