TPB Secretariat clarifies processing of planning application for rezoning former CGO site to "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Heritage Precinct"

     In response to the media enquiries about allegations that the Town Planning Board (TPB) has intentionally withheld the processing of a planning application for rezoning the former Central Government Offices (CGO) site from "Government, Institution or Community" ("G/IC") to "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Heritage Precinct" or "G/IC(1)", and about the criticism that the TPB would only be able to consider the planning application after the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) has graded the former CGO and that would take a few months, the TPB Secretariat clarified today (June 14) that the planning application made under section 12A of the Town Planning Ordinance (TPO) is being processed in strict accordance with the TPO.

     "The application was submitted by 20 organisations (the applicants)(list attached).  It was first discussed by the Metro Planning Committee (MPC) of the TPB on May 6, 2011, and the MPC agreed to defer decision on the application for two months to allow time for the applicants to prepare responses to address the concerned government departmental comments, and to consider the application in July 2011," the spokesman for the TPB Secretariat said.

     "At its meeting on July 29, 2011, noting that the Government would release the outcome of the public consultation on the former CGO West Wing redevelopment scheme and the revised redevelopment scheme in November 2011, the Planning Department proposed and the TPB agreed to defer consideration of the application to a date after the Government's release of the public consultation report and the revised redevelopment scheme for the West Wing so that all the relevant considerations could be taken into account.  On November 22, 2011, the Government released the public consultation report and the revised redevelopment scheme.  On November 23, 2011, the AAB announced its agreement to accede to the request from the Government Hill Concern Group for according priority to assess the grading of the former CGO," the spokesman continued.

     "Then on November 29, 2011, it was the applicants themselves who applied for further deferment of the consideration of the planning application until the AAB has decided on the grading of former CGO, on the grounds that the information to be considered by AAB in the assessment and the deliberations and decision of the AAB would be vital and relevant to assist the TPB in considering the application.  The applicants also said in their letter that the information from the AAB should be available for consideration of any proposal from the Government to rezone the subject site.  On December 23, 2011, the TPB discussed and acceded to the applicants' request that their planning application should be submitted for its consideration after completion of the AAB's assessment on the grading of former CGO," said the spokesman.

     The respective minutes of the above-mentioned TPB meetings are available at the TPB's website ( for public viewing.

Ends/Thursday, June 14, 2012
Issued at HKT 21:28