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LCQ13: Wong Chuk Hang Business Area

     Following is a question by the Hon Dr Pan Pey-chyou and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (June 1):


     According to recent media reports, the MTR South Island Line project has commenced, coupled with the launch of the revitalisation of industrial buildings scheme by the Government, a number of private developers have abandoned their original hotel development plans in the Wong Chuk Hang Business Area (WCHBA).  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the authorities have conducted any consultation on the development plan for WCHBA; if they have, of the details, including the respective numbers of consultation activities conducted and participants in each activity;  

(b) of the number of applications for planning permission in respect of hotel developments on the sites in WCHBA approved by the authorities so far; the total area of the sites concerned, and the percentage of the total area of such sites in the total land area of WCHBA; whether it knows, among these sites, the respective areas of the sites on which hotels have been built and the sites on which hotels will be built within this year, as well as the developers who will convert the land use from hotel purpose to commercial building purpose instead; whether such conversion of land use requires approval from the authorities; if so, of the criteria adopted by the authorities in considering whether to grant approval for such conversion; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) whether the authorities were inclined to convert the land use of WCHBA to hotel purpose when it initially implemented the revitalisation of industrial buildings scheme in WCHBA; if they were, whether they will review afresh the development direction for WCHBA and consult the public again in this regard as the progress of such revitalisation scheme has been unsatisfactory so far; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



(a) In the process of rezoning the industrial land in Wong Chuk Hang to "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Business" (OU(B)) in 2001, the Town Planning Board (TPB) did conduct consultation in accordance with the statutory and administrative procedures, including displaying relevant amendments to the Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau Outline Zoning Plan (the OZP) for inspection by the public and objection by affected persons, as required by the Town Planning Ordinance (TPO).  The Community Building, Culture, Leisure and Tourism Committee of the Southern District Council was also consulted.

     Subsequently, in determining building height restrictions for the Wong Chuk Hang Business Area (WCHBA), the TPB agreed that the Planning Department (PlanD) should conduct public consultation.  PlanD then launched a two-month public consultation, including public forum, lasting from September to November 2005.  During the consultation period, views were also sought from the Southern District Council, the Wong Chuk Hang and Stanley Area Committee, and the Planning Sub-Committee of the Land and Building Advisory Committee.  Apart from members of the aforesaid committees, participants of the consultation activities included members of the public who attended the open meetings and public forum.  PlanD has not kept statistics on the number of participants.  Having considered the views collected, the TPB incorporated the amendments to the building height restrictions into the OZP which was exhibited for public inspection and for representations in accordance with the TPO in 2006.  The Planning, Works and Housing Committee of the Southern District Council was also consulted on the amendments.

(b) In 2001, the TPB rezoned the industrial land in Wong Chuk Hang (about 8.3 hectares) from "Industrial" to "OU(B)", with a view to encouraging the conversion or redevelopment of existing industrial buildings and sites into commercial and non-polluting industrial use.  Since then, a total of 14 sites (about 1.6 hectares) have been approved by the TPB for hotel development, representing about 19.3% of the land in the WCHBA.  Among these 14 sites, seven have had their planning permission lapsed while one had a hotel completed last year.  Of the remaining six sites, two have been given consent by the Government for lease modification for hotel development while four have had their lease modified for non-industrial or non-residential uses (excluding hotel).  As such, hotels have been built or would be built on three sites with an aggregate area of some 0.37 hectares, representing about 4.5% of the land in the WCHBA.  As mentioned above, there were indeed applicants forsaking their hotel development plans after planning permission was granted.  It should however be noted that for "OU(B)" zone, TPB approval is required for hotel development, which is a "Column II" use, but not for the construction of commercial buildings for office use.  Whether the sites in an "OU(B)" zone will eventually be developed for office building or hotel purpose is a commercial decision up to the developers.  As a matter of fact, out of the seven sites which were first approved for hotel development but then had their planning permission lapsed, four have completed procedures for lease modification for non-industrial or non-residential uses (excluding hotel), and have either proceeded with office development or have submitted general building plans for office.  For information about the 14 sites, please refer to Annex 1.

(c) The planning intention of zoning the WCHBA as "OU(B)" is for general business use, such as non-polluting industrial, office or other commercial uses, so as to provide greater flexibility in the utilisation of existing industrial and industrial-office buildings in the area, and in the development of new buildings for commercial and non-polluting industrial uses.  After rezoning, the industrial area is gradually transforming with the completion of new business buildings and hotels, which is in line with the planning intention.  The MTR South Island Line (East) to be completed in 2015 will also promote the redevelopment of industrial buildings in the Wong Chuk Hang area for business use.

Ends/Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:03


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