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LCQ8: Retail facilities and parking spaces in Yan On Estate

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Kwok-hung and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Yau Shing-mu, in the Legislative Council today (June 3):


     It has been reported that in December last year, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) entered into a tenancy agreement with the successful tenderer for the lease of the shop located at No. 1, Ground Floor, Yan Hei House, Yan On Estate, Ma On Shan. However, some residents in Yan On Estate have complained to me that the tenant has not yet commenced business in the aforesaid shop, which manifestly constitutes a violation of the requirement that a tenant has to commence business of the designated trade within one month from the effective date of the tenancy agreement. However, HA has not followed up on the matter so far, and has been alleged of harbouring the tenant and ignoring the need of the residents for retail services. Meanwhile, these residents have also pointed out that there is a serious shortage of both monthly and hourly parking spaces in Yan On Estate. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the trade that the tenant intends to run in the aforesaid shop;

(2) whether the tenant signed the commercial tenancy agreement for the aforesaid shop in the name of a company; if so, of the name of the company concerned;

(3) whether HA is aware that the tenant has not yet commenced business in the aforesaid shop; if HA is, of its follow-up actions, including whether HA will consider terminating the tenancy agreement;

(4) whether the tenant has been paying monthly rent and quarterly rates since it entered into the tenancy agreement; if the tenant has not, of the amount of rent in arrears; if the tenant has, whether it is acceptable to HA for the tenant to only pay rent and rates but not conducting business as required;

(5) whether HA will conduct a fresh tendering exercise for the tenancy of the aforesaid shop; if HA will, of the timetable of the tendering exercise; of the factors to be considered by HA in deciding whether or not to conduct a fresh tendering exercise, and whether they include the complaints received by the authorities from the residents in the housing estate concerned;

(6) given that there are only a Hong Kong style cafe, a convenience store and a mini-supermarket in Yan On Estate at present, whether HA will consider converting the unoccupied spaces or passages on the ground floor of each of the buildings in the housing estate into shop premises for the provision of more retail services for the residents; if HA will, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that;

(7) of the current numbers of monthly and hourly parking spaces in Yan On Estate; the number of persons currently waiting for monthly parking spaces, with a breakdown by type of parking spaces; whether HA will designate parking spaces on the ground floor of each of the buildings in Yan On Estate to tackle the shortage of parking spaces; if HA will, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

(8) whether HA will convert the existing carpark in Yan On Estate into a multi-storey shopping centre-cum-carpark in the light of the needs of the residents in Yan On Estate for retail services and parking spaces; if HA will, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that?



     In response to the various parts of the question raised by the Hon Leung Kwok-hung, my consolidated reply is as follows:

     As pointed out in our reply issued on December 3 last year, Yan On Estate is a public rental housing (PRH) estate under the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) which consists of three domestic blocks with 2 587 PRH units. HA provides retail and carparking facilities in PRH estates mainly to facilitate local residents to shop for daily necessities and live their daily lives. The scale and the type of retail facilities to be provided are primarily determined with reference to the actual circumstances and the population of the estate and the availability of relevant facilities in the vicinity.

     Shop No.1 at Ground Floor of Yan Hei House in Yan On Estate was originally an empty bay.  In order to increase residents' choices in shopping and services, HA has decided to convert it into an independent shop premises and arranged an open tender for its letting in November 2014 under the multiple trades of "Medicine, Cosmetics and Dried Sea Food (With Chinese Medicine Practitioner Services)" or "Education and Cultural Centre". The tender was awarded to the tenderer operating the trade of "Education and Cultural Centre".

     According to the established practice of HA, signing of tenancy agreement will only be arranged upon completion of the conversion works of the shop premises. As such, HA has carried out the necessary conversion works which was completed in late May this year. HA has then arranged the prospective shop tenant to sign the tenancy agreement and to complete the formalities for handing over of the shop early this month. Upon the completion of such formalities, the tenant can commence fitting-out work and then start its business operation. Given the above, there are no questions of rent arrears or breaching of tenancy agreement, etc. by the tenant before the signing of the tenancy agreement for the premises.

     Regarding the facilities in the estate, Yan On Estate is a relatively small PRH estate. Available retail facilities include a convenience store, an eatery shop, a frozen food and general provision shop and an Automatic Teller Machine. Also, there are commercial and community facilities provided in the vicinity including a wet market, shopping and eatery facilities as well as a community hall, a children and youth centre and an elderly centre in Heng On Estate.

     On parking spaces, there are a total of 104 monthly parking spaces in Yan On Estate including 85 for private cars, eight for light goods vehicles and 11 for motor cycles. Furthermore, there are 14 hourly parking spaces, including nine for private cars, two for light goods vehicles and three for motor cycles. At present, there are 26 applications on the waiting list for monthly parking spaces including 21 for private cars, one for light goods vehicle and four for motor cycles.

     Other than the four loading and unloading areas provided in Yan On Estate, all remaining empty space at ground level of the estate has already been designated either as recreation area or emergency vehicular access. As there is not much vacant space or other space available for conversion works in the estate, HA considers it inappropriate to carry out any conversion into commercial use or additional parking spaces. However, HA is formulating an extension proposal for Yan On Estate which includes the building of new PRH units and converting the existing carpark into a multi-storey shopping centre cum carpark to increase the retail and carparking facilities to cope with the need of the community. The conversion works concerned is scheduled for commencement in 2018 and for completion in 2021.

Ends/Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:57


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