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LCQ2: Private recreational leases
     Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Wan and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah, in the Legislative Council today (November 8):


     Regarding the statistics on and policy review for private recreational leases, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the number of existing leases and the total area of land involved, with a tabulated breakdown by the following items:
(i) type of lessee (i.e. private sports club, uniformed group, social and welfare organisation, national sports association, community sports club and civil servants’ association);
(ii) lease term (i.e. 15 years, 21 years and others (please specify)); and
(iii) the District Council district in which the land is located;

(2) of the amounts of (i) government rent and (ii) rates actually paid by the lessee of each lease in the last financial year (set out in a table), and the method by which such amounts were arrived at;

(3) whether it knows, in respect of each lease in the last financial year, (i) the membership size of the lessee and (ii) the attendance at the venue concerned (set out in a table); and

(4) whether the Home Affairs Bureau can complete the policy review for such leases within this year on schedule, and of the details and the timetable of its work to consult this Council and relevant stakeholders on the outcome of the review?



     In the past, owing to the limited provision of recreational and sports facilities in Hong Kong, people interested in promoting sports development and providing recreational and sports facilities established private sports clubs and applied to the Government for grant of land to develop such facilities.  In addition to private sports clubs, non-profit-making organisations such as social and welfare organisations, uniformed groups, national sports associations, district sports associations and civil service organisations were granted land by the Government to develop recreational and sports facilities under Private Recreational Leases (PRLs) at nil or nominal premium.

     Having consolidated the information from the Lands Department (LandsD) and the Rating and Valuation Department (RVD), I reply to the four parts of the question as follows:

(1) There are altogether 67 existing PRLs, through which a total of 4 082 137 square metres of land was granted.  The statistics on PRLs by type of lessee, lease term and District Council district are at Annex I.

(2) The government rent and rates payable by the lessee of each lease in 2016-17 financial year are at Annex II.  RVD assesses and collects government rent in accordance with the provisions of the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance (Cap. 515).  In general, government rent is charged at 3 per cent of the rateable value of the property.  As for rates payable, RVD assesses and collects them in accordance with the provisions of the Rating Ordinance (Cap. 116).  For the 2016-17 financial year, the rates payable are determined by deducting the applicable rates concession from 5 per cent of the rateable value of the property.

(3) The membership size of the lessee of each lease is at Annex II.  Since the Government does not keep a record of the attendance rates of the venues concerned, the relevant information cannot be provided.

(4) The Home Affairs Bureau has set up an inter-departmental working group to review the PRL policy.  Given that the review involves the work of various bureaux and departments and that the issues in question are complex, we need to study them in detail so as to work out a reasonably practicable recommendation package.  Based on the current work progress, we expect to report the findings of the review to the Panel on Home Affairs of the Legislative Council as soon as practicable before conducting a public and stakeholder consultation.
Ends/Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:25
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