Following is a question by the Hon Albert Ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (October 9):
With respect to the government lands in the approved Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs) for (i) Pat Heung, (ii) Shek Kong, (iii) Kam Tin South, (iv) Kam Tin North, (v) Tai Tong and (vi) Tong Yan San Tsuen, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the following information on each lot of government land zoned for agricultural or open storage use in the aforesaid OZPs;
Name of OZP:
Name of OZP:
|Address registered with Land Registry||New Territories lot number registered with Land Registry||Land use specified in OZP (agricultural /open storage use)||Area(square metre)||Current use(e.g. idle, leased on short-term lease and others)(please specify)|
(b) whether the Government has found any illegal occupation of government lands in the aforesaid OZPs during the period from 2005 to July 31, 2013; if so, of the number of the relevant complaints received, the number of substantiated cases and the follow-up actions taken each year; and
(c) of the respective numbers of planning applications, received, approved and rejected by the Town Planning Board from 2007 to July 31, 2013, for changing the land use of government lands in the aforesaid OZPs from agricultural/open storage use to other uses, and a breakdown of these numbers by year and OZP?
I reply to the various parts of the question as follows:
(a) and (b) The question asks Government to set out information about Government land under "Agriculture" and "Open Storage" use covered by six Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs) in the Yuen Long area, including the address of the relevant land and the New Territories lot number as registered with the Land Registry. The Land Registry is responsible for registering and providing for public inspection information on leased land (commonly referred to as "private land"). Apart from the rare exceptions of re-entered private land in accordance with the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance (Cap. 126) and bona vacantia properties, Government does not possess land registered with the Land Registry, and Government land does not carry any lot number or address. The former owner of re-entered land may apply for relief against re-entry according to the law; and the relevant persons of bona vacantia properties may re-claim the related properties, and such land seems to have little relevance to the question.
As regards land commonly referred to as Government land, i.e. unleased land, the information of such land would not be registered with the Land Registry unless there is specified use for such land (such as for public facilities). Otherwise, such land would generally not be treated as individual patches of land. Moreover, Government does not keep registers of Government land of different zonings under the various OZPs. As such, Government cannot provide the detailed and categorised information and usage of Government land under the six OZPs as requested under this part of the question. According to the Lands Department (LandsD)'s observation, Government land zoned "Agriculture" and "Open Storage" under the six OZPs in question is situated in sporadic locations and in between private land, and is mostly covered by temporary structures, bushes, sites under Government Land Licences and Short Term Tenancies, river courses, slopes, graves, etc.
Generally speaking, the District Lands Offices (DLOs) would verify and follow up cases of unlawful occupation of Government land in accordance with applicable procedures upon receipt of complaint cases, which includes posting of notices in the area concerned in accordance with the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 28) to require the occupation of the land to cease before a specified date. If the requirement as specified in the notice has not been adhered to upon expiry of the said notice, the DLOs would demolish and remove the structures and objects in occupation of the land and consider prosecution. In the past ten years, Government cleared an average of about 5 600 cases of unlawful occupation of Government land each year. LandsD does not separately keep statistics of the complaint cases received in respect of unlawful occupation of Government land within the area zoned "Agriculture" and "Open Storage" covered by the six OZPs.
(c) Regarding the six OZPs in question, amongst the planning applications received by the Town Planning Board from 2007 to July 31, 2013 for changing the use of land within areas zoned "Agriculture" and "Open Storage", most of the applications only involve private land or involve both private and Government land. Only a few applications involve Government land only. There are a total of 70 applications which involve both private and Government land, and four applications which only involve Government land. The relevant statistics are set out at Annex.
Ends/Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:02