HK Authorities Want To Expedite Compulsory Land Sales For Redevelopment
HONG KONG – Officials revealed on Wednesday that they are considering to table a bill in the Legislative Council by H2 2023 to reduce the minimum requirements to trigger compulsory land sales for redevelopment, reported Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) on Wednesday evening (16 November, SGT).
In Chief Executive John Lee’s recent policy address, the government proposed that developers need to purchase at least 70 percent of a building instead of the present 80 percent to compulsorily acquire an entire property that’s more than five decades old and redevelop it.
For structures that are over 7 decades old, the proposed minimum requirements would be reduced further to 60 percent.
In papers submitted to the Legislative Council, Hong Kong’s Development Bureau also made recommendations on ways to streamline the mandatory sale process.
For instance, an applicant would no longer need to justify a redevelopment plan if the building is at least 5 decades old and all minority owners have given their written approval for the sale.
The bureau also suggested establishing a dedicated office to provide one-stop support for owners who require help with litigation, mediation, or professional advisory services. It may also assist those impacted to find replacement dwellings.
If the law is passed, it would boost redevelopment in areas, such as Kowloon City and To Kwa Wan. However, there are fears that some buildings with historic value could be demolished, said Brian Wong, who is a member of the think tank Liber Research Community.
“For example, in Nam Kok Road, there are a few historic old tenement buildings that are at least 70, 80 years old. They’re maybe the only remaining few of its kind in Hong Kong.”
“Many of them have not yet been [historically] graded… [and] there’s no guarantee that they’ll be preserved,” he added.