Government thanks Council for Sustainable Development

The Development Bureau has expressed its deep appreciation to the Council for Sustainable Development for conducting the four-month public engagement exercise on "Building Design to Foster a Quality and Sustainable Built Environment", which will end tomorrow (October 31).

During the engagement period, together with 30 partner organisations, the council has organised more than 60 engagement events, including regional forums, briefing sessions, roving exhibitions, a photo competition, as well as local tours for students. These events have been well attended by interested parties as well as general members of the public and generated active discussions and debates on issues concerning our built environment.

"The council has successfully aroused public interest in the subject of quality and sustainable built environment in the public engagement exercise. The council's effort is highly commendable.

"We look forward to receiving the council's report and its recommendations, and will carefully study the same in mapping out our policies," the spokesman said.

The spokesman also pointed out that in the context of the public engagement, the council had received a number of enquiries regarding the various types of GFA concessions granted to those buildings covered in a sample study conducted by the Buildings Department, the data of which were mentioned in the "Invitation for Response" Document published by the council.

In line with the practice of promoting transparency in development matters, such as the systematic release of information on public open space and other public facilities in private developments, the Development Bureau has made available at the bureau's website ( the results of the sample study conducted in 2006 on Gross Floor Area (GFA) concessions granted to buildings

Led by the Buildings Department, the purpose of the sample study is to gauge the level of GFA concessions granted over the years under the respective legislation and policies. This was intended to provide a basis for the Administration to examine whether measures should be introduced to control the granting of GFA concessions for the relevant features in light of the public concerns about the impact of such practices on the building height and bulk.

Excerpts of the findings were included in a paper discussed by the Legislative Council Panel on Development in December 2008 and the "Invitation for Response" Document of the Public Engagement launched by the council.

Furthermore, in response to some recent media reports concerning GFA concessions, the spokesman clarified that land premium is generally payable in respect of those green features (which are eligible for GFA concessions) that form part of the individual flats in a building and are for the exclusive possession and enjoyment of the owners and residents. These green features include balconies and utility platforms. Subject to the relevant lease conditions, payment of land premium may be required in respect of the exempted GFA for the relevant type of green features. The amount of premium where payable is calculated based on the standard rates promulgated in the relevant Practice Notes of the Lands Department at the time when permission for GFA exemption was granted. Such standard rates are subject to annual review.


Ends/Friday, October 30, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:25