Development Bureau clarifies the conditions of sale for Ma On Shan Area 77

In response to media enquiries, the Development Bureau issues the following statement on the media reports on the noise mitigation measures for Sha Tin Town Lot No. 548, Ma On Shan Area 77.

This lot was sold through public auction in November 2006, after the site was successfully triggered from the Application List.

The Conditions of Sale, which were made known to all prospective purchasers and the public through the Lands Department's (LandsD) website, clearly provide that the total gross floor area (GFA) of any building or buildings erected or to be erected on the lot shall not exceed 82,200 square metres. The present development, including among others the 14 houses referred to in the media reports, shown on the approved building plans does not exceed this GFA cap of 82,200 square metres.

"There is therefore no question of the Purchaser building more GFA than otherwise permitted under the Conditions of Sale," the spokesman stressed.

The Conditions of Sale include a Special Condition 5(g) on Noise Mitigation Measures. This Special Condition clearly states that the Purchaser shall at his own expense implement the noise mitigation measures as referred to in sub-clauses (g)(i) or (g)(ii) or such other measures as may be approved by the Director of Lands and in all aspects to the satisfaction of the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP).

"We note the media have referred to the measures in (g)(ii) only. However, the Conditions of Sale clearly provide that the Purchaser may instead of (g)(ii), take the measures at (g)(i) or take any other measures which are in all aspects to the satisfaction of DEP," the spokesman said.

"Indeed the Purchaser in this case takes such the 'other measures' route," the spokesman said. "The provision of 14 houses on the area concerned has met the noise requirements of DEP, i.e. (a) the external walls of the houses would join together to become a continuous noise barrier in order to be effective in screening the noise; (b) there should be no openings on the wall unless the openings are for rooms which are not noise sensitive, such as toilet, bathroom and kitchen; and (c) the height of the wall (noise barrier) should not be less than 15 metres. As the building plans submitted by the Purchaser met the noise criteria, the LandsD approved such other measures under Special Condition 5(g) of the Conditions of Sale," the spokesman added.

There is no question of developers not having been made aware of the "other measures" route as clearly stipulated in Special Condition 5(g) of the Conditions of Sale when they decided to bid or not to bid for the lot in November 2006.

"There is also no question of the lot having been sold cheap. The Conditions of Sale clearly envisaged that the developer may choose to implement other noise mitigation measures than those stipulated in Special Condition 5(g)(i) or Special Condition 5(g)(ii)," the spokesman said.

The sale price of the lot in November 2006 was $3.24 billion, which well exceeded the triggering price of $2.4 billion. There were seven bidders and 24 biddings at the public auction.

The Buildings Department (BD) has been implementing a centralised processing system for building plans. Upon receipt of private development building plans submitted in accordance with the Buildings Ordinance, the department will circulate the plans to the relevant government departments (including LandsD). The departments will provide comments and take suitable follow-up actions in their respective professional purview.

Regarding the building plan of the development in question, the BD has processed the case in accordance with the aforementioned centralised processing system. The Building Authority approved the building plan as it meets the requirements of the Buildings Ordinance.

Ends/Thursday, September 24, 2009
Issued at HKT 21:06