Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (March 28):
Given that the public is very concerned about the wall effect created by major housing estates composed of tall and compact buildings, and the effectiveness of the Government's control over urban planning and building design by means of plot ratio, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the permitted plot ratios for the sites of the following housing estates, the final plot ratios of the estates upon completion, discrepancies between the two ratios, and the causes leading to such discrepancies;
|Name of housing estate
and the district in
which it is located
|Causes leading to
|Hilary Court in Central
and Western District
|The Palace in Kowloon
|The Orchards in
|Grand Promenade in
Sai Wan Ho
|The Cliveden in
(b) whether it has assessed the prevalence of the situation in which the final plot ratios of the completed housing estates exceed their permitted plot ratios, and whether such a situation exists in the property developments above railway stations and depots of the Mass Transit Railway and the Kowloon-Canton Railway, as well as in the redevelopment projects undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority; if it has so assessed and found such a situation, of the details of the discrepancies involved and the causes leading to such discrepancies; and
(c) whether it will take measures to prevent the final plot ratio of a completed housing estate from exceeding its permitted plot ratio; if it will, of the details of such measures; if not, the reasons for that?
Replies to the three parts of the question are as follows:
(a) (b) The permitted plot ratio of private land is subject to the control of different ordinances and land lease conditions. If the plot ratio is specified in the Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) or has been established under the approval of the Town Planning Board, the Lands Department (LandsD) will, in processing land lease modifications or drawing up the conditions for sale of Government land, specify the maximum plot ratio or gross floor area (GFA) under the land lease.
The permitted plot ratio for all land is governed by land lease conditions, OZPs and/or the Buildings Ordinance (BO), as the case may be. The plot ratio of a proposed building development must satisfy the requirements so specified under the above control measures. The LandsD, Planning Department and Buildings Department will, in processing an application for building development, follow the established mechanism to ensure that the final plot ratio of the land concerned satisfies the statutory requirements and land lease conditions.
Nevertheless, land lease conditions, OZPs, section 42 of the BO and regulation 23(3)(b) of the Building (Planning) Regulations allow the relevant authorities to exempt or disregard the area of certain building facilities from GFA calculations under specified circumstances. These facilities are mostly essential building facilities and those that improve the quality of living. Examples are car-parking spaces, plant rooms and green features. In respect of the five cases mentioned in the question, exempted GFA ranges from 535 square metres to 32,053 square metres, whilst non-accountable GFA from 2,580 square metres to 41,402 square metres.
In addition, if part of the site area of a building is dedicated for public passage purpose, regulation 22 of the Building (Planning) Regulations allows the granting of bonus GFA to that building. However, the number of cases involving the granting of bonus GFA is relatively small. Among the five cases mentioned in the question, only one case involves the granting of bonus GFA of 10,684 square metres.
In processing the above applications, the authorities will follow all the statutory requirements and land lease conditions as well as the requirements stipulated under the relevant practise notes.
(c) Although the above measures play a significant role in improving the built environment and functioning of buildings and are welcome by building users, we are aware that recently there is a growing community concern over the effect of such measures on building bulk and height. To this end, we are reviewing the effectiveness of the measures and will consult the relevant stakeholders, with a view to examining whether there is room for improvement.
Ends/Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:03