Land and Development Advisory Committee held first meeting since reorganisation in July 2009

The first meeting of the Land and Development Advisory Committee (LDAC) was held today (August 31) since its reorganisation from the former Land and Building Advisory Committee (LBAC) on July 1, 2009. Members were consulted on the proposed operations of the committee and its interface with the newly established Development Opportunities Office (DOO); community projects assisted by the Development Bureau (DEVB) prior to the set up of DOO; and the Urban Renewal Strategy (URS) Review.

The LDAC noted that the DOO was established on July 1 to facilitate development proposals from the private sector and non-government organisations (NGOs), and that the LDAC would provide advice and comments to the Government on the merits of such development proposals. Members agreed to the project eligibility criteria and disclosure arrangements proposed by DOO for handling development projects, as well as the interface arrangements between the LDAC and the DOO.

The LDAC was also briefed on three community projects submitted to DEVB prior to the establishment of the DOO. Members noted that the advice and co-ordinating support provided to the project proponents in planning, lands and buildings matters have facilitated the land development projects, and they agreed that the DOO should continue to provide similar support to NGO and the private sector project proponents. They noted that the DOO would engage members at an earlier stage for future projects.

Members were consulted on the key issues identified for discussion during the Public Engagement Stage (Stage 2) of the URS Review, which aims to engage the public to develop together possible options of urban renewal. Members enquired about whether there were any special causes of urban decay in Hong Kong and whether any preventive measures could be introduced to slow down the pace of urban decay. Members noted that the Government was conducting additional studies under the URS Review on related topics and was developing policy measures to promote maintenance of existing buildings. Members also remarked that local residents and stakeholders should be actively engaged in working out urban regeneration plans for the respective districts. The Public Engagement Stage of the URS Review will be followed by Stage 3 (Consensus Building) in early 2010. The whole process of the Review is scheduled to be completed in mid-2010.

Ends/Monday, August 31, 2009
Issued at HKT 20:07