SDEV speaks on the unauthorised building works at No. 4 Peel Rise

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (June 21) on the unauthorised building works at No. 4 Peel Rise:

Reporter: About the unauthorised building structure, what will be done?

Secretary for Development: The case has been handled strictly in accordance with the Buildings Department's enforcement policy against unauthorised building works. The procedure that the department has put in place since the middle of last year is whenever there is a compliant or enquiry about alleged or suspected unauthorised building works involving so-called celebrities, senior officials, members of the Legislative Council, etc., the Buildings Department will accord priority to inspect the premises in order to provide some early clarification about the status of that reported or suspected unauthorised building works.

In this particular case, the Buildings Department received an enquiry about this particular address, with a photograph showing the suspected unauthorised building works, but at that point in time, that is yesterday, the owner's identity has not been identified. As soon as the Buildings Department realised from the press report this morning that the premises belongs to the Chief Executive-elect, according to the procedure, the Buildings Department has sent its officials to the address at around 11am this morning, and with the full cooperation of the owner, has entered the premises to undertake inspection.

Initial inspection indicated that the alleged unauthorised building works has been removed. As you know, the Chief Executive-elect has come out to say that he has already arranged for the removal of the unauthorised buildings works. But having checked the records of the Buildings Department, the department has not received previously any application for building works concerning this structure. So the initial investigation indicated that the structure concerned, which has been reported in the media and to us yesterday, is an unauthorised building works. So in accordance with the usual enforcement policy, this type of unauthorised building works on yards and gardens will have to be subject to action. Since it is a non-emergency case without imminent danger, the usual enforcement procedure will be for the Buildings Department to issue an advisory letter to the owner to request the owner to self-arrange for removal of the unauthorised building works. And it is only when the owner does not comply with the advisory letter, then the Buildings Department will proceed to issue a statutory removal order. But as you all know by now, in this particular case, the unauthorised building works has been voluntarily removed by the owner.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, June 21, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:47