New and revised Town Planning Board Guidance Notes and Guidelines promulgated

    The Town Planning Board (the Board) today (September 21) promulgated two sets of Guidance Notes to assist applicants in submitting applications for change of use to commercial uses in industrial premises and in complying with condition in relation to provision of fire safety measures.

     Since January, 2006, to ensure the timely provision of fire safety measures for commercial uses on the ground floor of industrial premises, the board, in approving any such applications, has adopted the practice of imposing a time-limited condition requiring the provision of fire safety measures before operation (in the case of a proposed use) or within six months from the date of approval (in the case of regularisation of an existing use).  If the condition is not complied with as required, the permission shall be revoked by the board.

     From the experience of the past planning applications, the board considers it prudent to ascertain from the concerned departments whether there is any insurmountable problem relating to the application, particularly in meeting the fire safety requirements that cannot be resolved by way of an approval condition, before giving its approval.  In this connection, the Guidance Notes on section 16 Application have been revised requiring the submission of relevant information including plans to show the location of the premises under application in the subject building and all means of exit, entry and internal passageways.  A sample plan has been included in the Guidance Note for reference by the prospective applicant.

     To facilitate the applicant to comply with the approval condition on fire safety measures, a new Guidance Note has been prepared to lay down the required steps to be followed by the applicant upon the board's approval of the application.  In particular, for cases where no building works are involved or no building plan submission is required, a separate submission should be made for compliance with the condition to the District Planning Office of the Planning Department which will refer it to the Fire Services Department for consideration.  The submission should include a layout plan to show the location of existing and proposed fire service installations within the premises under application.  The Guidance Note has included a sample plan for reference by the applicant.

     Besides, having considered the fire safety concerns in relation to the application for commercial uses on the basement floor of industrial premises, the Board has revised Guidelines PG-Nos. 22D and 25D for use/development within "Other Specified Uses (Business)" and "Industrial" zones to explicitly set out that commercial uses on the basement floor(s) of an industrial building would not be supported from fire safety point of view.
     The revised guidance notes and guidelines are now available at the Secretariat of the TPB at 15/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong (Tel: 2231 4810 or 2231 4835) and the TPB's website (

     Any enquiries on the above may be addressed to the Secretariat of the Board at the above address or by email (, or to the Planning Enquiry Counters of the Planning Department (Hotline: 2231 5000 and email: at 17/F., North Point Government Offices and 14/F, Sha Tin Government Offices, 1 Sheung Wo Che Road, Sha Tin.

Ends/Friday, September 21, 2007
Issued at HKT 18:02