Regarding the offer of sale of "Apex Horizon" to individual purchasers in Kwai Chung, a Government spokesman today (February 19) pointed out that the rooms for sale are permitted for hotel use only, they are subject to the regulation of "guesthouse licence" and are not residential units. The Government reminds members of the public to exercise care and take note of the following information when considering purchasing the units of the property.
According to the approved building plans, "Apex Horizon" is a building approved for hotel use only under Regulation 23A of the Building (Planning) Regulations.
The land grant
The property is situated at the Remaining Portion of KCTL No. 467. The permitted use under the land grant of the lot is "non-industrial (excluding godown and petrol filling station)", with a specification on minimum gross floor area (GFA) of not less than 21,190 square metres for hotel use. While the land grant does not forbid the owner from selling the units individually, the owner has yet to provide the Lands Department with adequate information on whether and, if so, how the rooms being sold individually would continue to be for hotel use, in order to satisfy the Lands Department that the sale arrangement would not breach the requirement of minimum GFA requirement in the lease for hotel use. In the event of substantiated contravention of any conditions of the land grant, the Lands Department will take appropriate lease enforcement action, including but not limited to re-entering the property.
"Apex Horizon" falls within an area zoned "Commercial (2)" on the Kwai Chung Outline Zoning Plan. According to the Notes of the Plan, "flat" use is not a permitted use within the subject zone.
Approved building plans
According to the approved building plans, the hotel at the subject site, i.e. "Apex Horizon", is a building approved for hotel use only. Under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123), no person, being the proprietor of the hotel or being the owner or occupier of the hotel building or the hotel part of the building, shall without prior approval of the Building Authority change, or cause to be changed, the use of the hotel building or of the hotel part of the building in whole or in part to a use other than that of a hotel. Any person who contravenes the provision shall be guilty of a criminal offence and liable on conviction to a fine at $100,000 and to imprisonment for two years.
"Apex Horizon" is currently a licensed guesthouse under the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance (Cap. 349). The operation, keeping and management of the guesthouse shall be under the continuous and personal supervision of the licensee. Unless with the written approval of the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Authority, the licensee or other persons (including owners or tenants) shall not alter, amend or otherwise change the partitioning and interior decoration of the units in the premises. Moreover, any public officer authorised under the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance may, without warrant, at all reasonable times enter and inspect any licensed guesthouse. Contravention of any licence conditions is a criminal offence and will lead to a criminal record. Upon conviction, the offender is liable to a fine of $100,000 and to imprisonment for two years, as well as a fine of $10,000 for each day during which the offence continues. If it appears to the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Authority that the licensee has ceased to operate, keep, manage or otherwise control the guesthouse, or the licensee or his tenant contravenes the requirements of the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance, the Authority may cancel or refuse to renew the licence.
The Government is liaising with the owner of "Apex Horizon" and the guesthouse licensee to understand further the subject offer of sale and the mode of operation of the property after sale, with a view to studying whether any requirements have been contravened. In considering whether to make a purchase, members of the public should clearly understand the relevant stipulations and statutory requirements and, if necessary, seek independent legal advice.
Ends/Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:19