Following is a question by the Hon Cyd Ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (April 25):
The Development Bureau pointed out in its paper submitted to the Panel on Development of this Council on November 22, 2011 that as the implementation of the project on Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point required resumption and clearance of the whole Chuk Yuen Village (CYV), the Government would provide a village resite area at Ta Kwu Ling with supporting infrastructure to resite those villagers of CYV who were eligible for village removal terms. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the policy currently in place for removal of villages in the New Territories, and provide the relevant papers;
(b) given that it has been learnt that some villagers of CYV do not hold the land title of their houses, how the authorities make the removal arrangement for those indigenous villagers (IVs) who do not own any building land;
(c) of the detailed arrangements for the construction of resite houses by the Government for IVs of CYV and the compensation involved (including the relationship between compensation options and the type and area of the original building lands, as well as other factors of consideration; building specifications of resite houses; compensation options for building lands on which abandoned, vacant or collapsed houses are located; the formula for calculating the resite house entitlements which are offered in cash; the compensation arrangement for IVs who own more than one piece of building land; the number of building lots within the village environs of CYV for which compensation was offered; the respective total numbers of resite houses and sites as well as the total amount of building allowance covered by resite house entitlements offered as compensation); and
(d) of the latest details of and the detailed expenditures incurred in the removal of the whole CYV(including a breakdown of the number of resite houses built by the Government, the building costs of each resite house and the amount of compensation, etc.)?
On September 18, 2008, the Hong Kong (HK) and Shenzhen (SZ) governments jointly announced the construction of a new boundary control point at Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai (the BCP). Subsequently, both sides have reached a consensus on the implementation of the project. The engineering works of the BCP will commence on both HK and SZ sides in 2013 with a target commissioning of the new BCP in 2018.
To make way for the implementation of the new BCP, the entire Chuk Yuen Village has to be resumed and cleared. Chuk Yuen Village is a pre-1898 recognised village located at the Frontier Closed Area. The indigenous villagers (IVs) and non-IVs of the village have been living in the same community together for many years, and they have strongly expressed their wish to continue living together after the clearance of Chuk Yuen Village. The Government understands the special circumstances and request of the villagers, and has previously decided to offer some special arrangements, in addition to the established compensation and rehousing policy (the details are set out in the paper submitted to the Panel on Development on November 22, 2011). In view of some Members' concerns raised in the meeting of the Panel and to more fully respond to the request of villagers, the Government works out the final arrangements on compensation and rehousing, the details of which have been set out in the discussion paper for the meeting of the Panel on Development on April 24, 2012 (CB(1)1607/11-12(04)). The Chuk Yuen Residents Village Removal Committee and the Village Representatives of Chuk Yuen Village welcome these final special arrangements.
My reply to the four parts of the question is as follows:
(a) Under the existing New Territories Village Removal Policy, where land resumption is required to facilitate implementation of public works, the affected IVs who own building lots or non-IVs who have owned building lots pre-war (prior to December 25, 1941) or by succession, may be provided with village resites when their building lots are resumed. The resite house entitlements, taking into account the site area involved, would be in the form of resite houses built by the Government; or a site (without a house on it) plus a building allowance equivalent to the building costs of a Government-built resite house; or in cash, known as a "house allowance" which is equivalent to the full market value of a resite house. When post-war new grant building lots (including Small Houses granted under the Small House Policy) are resumed, eligible IV owners would be compensated by the grant of resite houses in the resite area, provided that the building development has been completed. Where the building development has not been completed, the IV owner would be given a building site only in the resite area.
As for the clearance of Chuk Yuen Village to make way for the implementation of the new BCP project, a village resite area is provided in Ta Kwu Ling with supporting infrastructure to resite those in Chuk Yuen Village who are eligible for village removal terms. Works for the village resite area, started in August 2010, have basically been completed.
(b) Those IVs of Chuk Yuen Village who do not own any building lot may exercise their once-in-a-lifetime right for Small House grant by acquiring private agricultural land in the area adjoining the village resite area for village type development and applying to the Government for a Free Building Licence for construction of Small Houses.
(c) The detailed arrangements for the compensation of resite houses are as follows: For old scheduled building lots and pre-war new grant building lots owned by IVs in the New Territories, compensation will be calculated on the basis that one resite house (floor area of 700 square feet and three-storey high) will be offered as compensation for every 0.01 acre of building lot resumed, irrespective of whether or not the land is abandoned or vacant. For post-war new grant building lots owned by IVs in the New Territories, if the lot concerned is in compliance with the Building Covenant of New Grant, one resite house will be offered as compensation for every new grant building lot; and if the lot concerned is not in compliance with the Building Covenant of New Grant, a building lot of 700 square feet will be offered as compensation for every new grant building lot. If the entitled compensation for the resumed building lots exceeds three resite houses, the exceeding entitlement will be compensated in cash. Within the village environs of Chuk Yuen Village, there are 37 building lots entitled to compensation under the New Territories Village Removal Policy, involving a total of 44 resite house entitlements. In addition, the building allowance involved will be around $28 million in total.
(d) The cost of reprovisioning Chuk Yuen Village is $51.3 million, covering site formation, infrastructure facilities and road improvement works for the resite area. The Government will also be responsible for building 10 resite houses, each costs around $1.35 million. The total cost for the compensation and ex-gratia allowance involved in reprovisioning Chuk Yuen Village will be around $56 million.
Other than the arrangements for IVs covered by the question, information on the special arrangements for the non-IVs of Chuk Yuen Village has been set out in the discussion paper for the meeting of the Panel on Development on April 24, 2012 (CB(1)1607/11-12(04)).
Ends/Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:49