Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (January 13):
The site adjacent to the Sunny Bay MTR Station which was originally designated for use as an "emergency vehicle holding area" has remained unused after it was returned to the Lands Department in February 2007. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
(a) it has assessed the loss of rental due to the site not being leased out;
(b) it will discuss afresh with various government departments the designation of the site for temporary use; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(c) it will consider allocating the site to Radio Television Hong Kong for holding concerts regularly on weekends, so as to provide a regular performance venue for local jazz players or independent musicians and increase their opportunities of staging live performances?
The Lands Department (Lands D) manages a large number of vacant government sites which are not ready for development. Depending on the actual situations and the period available for short-term use, Lands D may accept applications for temporary site allocation from other Government departments; or, with the support of the relevant bureaux or departments, may let out the site to non-governmental organisations or individuals for use under short-term tenancy at market or nominal rent; or consider letting out the site for short-term commercial uses at market rent by tender.
Regarding the site adjacent to the Sunny Bay MTR Station which was originally designated for use as an "emergency vehicle holding area" mentioned in the question, my reply is as follows:
(a) As stated above, Lands D arranges the short-term use of vacant government sites through various means. Upon the return of the site in question, Lands D allocated part of the site for use by a Government department on a short-term basis; and also received applications from some individuals for short-term tenancy though these did not materialise at the end of the day. Given that short-term commercial use is only one of the means in handling vacant Government sites depending on the actual circumstances, the Government has not assessed the loss of rental due to the site not being let out.
(b) After consulting the relevant bureaux and departments, Lands D proposed to let out the site under a short term tenancy at market rent for use as a fee-paying car park. The tender was closed on January 8, 2010. Lands D is now following up the matter.
(c) It is learnt that the Radio Television Hong Kong does not have any plan to apply for use of the site for weekend concerts.
Ends/Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:00