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List of ex-school premises for application for short-term uses from Lands Department available online
     The Lands Department (LandsD) announced today (March 28) that a list of vacant school premises (VSPs) under the LandsD's management and available for application by non-government organisations (NGOs) for short-term uses has been uploaded to its website (www.landsd.gov.hk/en/vsp/vsp.htm).
     The LandsD is one of the departments managing ex-school premises falling vacant and no longer required for educational purposes.
     A spokesperson for the LandsD said that in line with prevailing policy and practice for vacant government land, the LandsD would endeavour to put such ex-school premises on government land under its management to suitable temporary and gainful uses, where those sites are not immediately required for the identified long-term uses or the long-term uses are yet to be determined. Apart from government use, the sites on the VSP list may also be rented out on a short-term tenancy (STT) by direct grant to NGOs, subject to the applicant securing policy support from the relevant policy bureau. If the application is approved, full market rent would normally be charged, unless there is further policy support from the relevant bureau to grant the site at nominal rent.  
     The LandsD has been circulating the relevant extracts from the list by district to the relevant District Councils on a quarterly basis. From now on, the VSP list will also be made available online to facilitate public access. 
     Individual VSPs may be removed from or added to the VSP list in accordance with the latest position. Interested NGOs or their representative(s) are advised to contact the relevant District Lands Office for up-to-date information on any particular premises on the VSP list before submitting applications. Following current practice, the processing of valid applications is largely on a "first come, first processed" basis. Once a valid application cannot be further processed and has to be rejected because of lack of policy support or other considerations, the VSP concerned would be put back on the list for application.
     Guidelines for application for use of vacant government land (including VSPs) for short-term community, institutional or non-profit-making purposes can be downloaded from the LandsD website (www.landsd.gov.hk/en/images/doc/guide_vgl.pdf).
     Examples of concluded cases include the STT in Yuen Long issued to the Construction Industry Council for a temporary training centre for the construction industry, and the STT issued to an NGO for a non-profit-making resource centre for promotion and conservation of cultural heritage of Yim Tin Tsai Village. 
     Where the VSP is needed for a designated use identified by the Government, the LandsD will continue to follow up with the disposal in the open market or allocation to the relevant government bureau/department. Examples include two VSP sites sold for permanent residential uses under the Land Sale Programme, and land allocated to the Development Bureau in connection with the Revitalising Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme for the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre and to the Home Affairs Bureau for Civic Centre and Art Centre development under a Signature Project Scheme.
Ends/Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:55
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