Response by spokesman for Housing Authority to media enquiries
In response to media enquiries on reports that a hawker bazaar may be set up in Tin Yiu Estate, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) replied as follows today (August 25):
There have been discussions in society for some time on the question of setting up hawker bazaars. Regarding proposals for the setting up of hawker bazaars in individual public rental housing (PRH) estates under HA, the Housing Department (HD) had explained HA’s position in a submission (CB(1)868/15-16(06)) to the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Housing at a meeting held on May 10. It made clear that HA keeps an open mind to exploring these proposals.
The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, in response to LegCo question at the meeting on June 22, stated that the Government kept an open mind towards proposals for setting up hawker bazaars and believed that it would be desirable to adopt a district-led approach. If the proponents could identify suitable sites for setting up such hawker bazaars and secure support from the local community and the respective District Councils, the Government would provide assistance as long as food safety and environmental hygiene were not compromised and public passageways were not obstructed. Government departments and public bodies concerned will handle proposals of setting up hawker bazaars in accordance with this policy and consult the District Councils concerned when required.
While acting in accordance with the above-mentioned Government policy, HA will examine feasibility of such proposal and their impact in the light of the need and circumstances of the estates concerned.
As stated in the above submission to the LegCo Housing Panel, public housing estates are, in general, densely populated. Open spaces on the ground level are often used for public passage, sitting-out areas or common spaces for residents' use. HA has to thoroughly consider residents’ need for common spaces, as well as the views of residents, other stakeholders and the local community on the change in their use. At the same time, HA also needs to consider whether the proposals would cause environmental hygiene problems, obstruction of public passages, nuisances to residents or illegal hawking activities, etc. Furthermore, some public housing estates are located on land lots subject to land leases, which set out restrictions on floor area and land use. Hence, approval from the Lands Department and consent from other owners may be required for implementation of such proposals.
Taking Tin Yiu Estate at Tin Shui Wai as an example, its common areas are jointly owned by HA and the Link Real Estate Investment Trust and are subject to the restrictions under the land lease and Deed of Mutual Covenant. The proposal to set up hawker bazaar at the amphitheatre of Tin Yiu Estate involves change in the use of common areas in the estate, application to the Lands Department and consent from the Link are required for implementation of the proposal.
Regarding the proposals to set up hawker bazaars at various locations in Tin Shui Wai, the Yuen Long District Office has, jointly with the district councillor of the constituency concerned and representatives of related government departments, conducted a site visit to various locations proposed for setting up the bazaars, including the amphitheatre of Tin Yiu Estate. The proposal had also been explored preliminarily at the Estate Management Advisory Committee of Tin Yiu Estate. At present, the local district councillor is liaising with non-government organisations which are interested in operating such temporary bazaar to submit proposals. When there is a detailed proposal, the HD will cooperate with the government authorities concerned to follow up on the proposal with relevant departments and stakeholders.
Ends/Thursday, August 25, 2016
Issued at HKT 22:29
Issued at HKT 22:29