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Details of Implementation Arrangements for Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area

Special Compensation and Rehousing (C&R) Arrangements

 

The special package to be offered for the Hung Shui Kiu (HSK) New Development Area (NDA) has been formulated with reference to the special C&R package for eligible clearees affected by the Kwu Tung North and Fanling North (KTN/FLN) NDAs, the details of which are set out in the paper submitted to the North District Council (NDC) in April 2017 (NDC paper no. 10/2017) (Enclosure 1 (Chinese version only)).  The package includes the prevailing general C&R arrangements and also the following special C&R arrangements subject to the specified eligibility criteria, restrictions and discretions as set out at Annex 7 of Enclosure 1

 

(a) Special Rehousing Scheme (SRS)

 

The Government have formulated a Special Rehousing Scheme (SRS), generally the same1 as the special rehousing arrangements adopted for KTN/FLN NDAs, that offers eligible households2 affected by the HSK NDA project the option to rent or buy subsidised housing units at a dedicated en-bloc local rehousing estate (Dedicated Rehousing Estate).  Two adjacent sites near Hung Fuk Estate have been reserved for the development of the Dedicated Rehousing Estate, which can provide a total of about 2,100 flats, including rental and subsidized sale flat (SSF) units. The Government will invite the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) to develop and manage the Dedicated Rehousing Estate.  The eligibility criteria and restrictions are the same as those applied to households affected by the KTN/FLN NDAs project.

 

For assessing the eligibility of households opting for rental units under the SRS, the prevailing maximum income and asset limits for HKHS’s Group B rental housing will be generally adopted3.  Nevertheless, for elderly households4 opting for the rental housing, the Secretary for Development (SDEV) has discretion to relax the maximum asset test requirement (but not the income test requirement) making reference to the estimated discounted sale prices of HKHS’s SSF units at the Dedicated Rehousing Estate.  For eligible households opting to purchase SSF units under SRS, the means test requirement would be waived and a discounted amount of the Special Ex-gratia Cash Allowance (SEGCA) explained in item (b) below be offered (see below for details).

 

(b) Special Ex-gratia Cash Allowance (SEGCA)

 

Same as for KTN/FLN NDAs, eligible households5 affected by the HSK NDA project would be offered a SEGCA in the form of a lump-sum cash allowance at a maximum of $600,000, regardless of the area occupied by the relevant structures.  The SEGCA offered will be on a structure or household basis, whichever is smaller.  That is, if a household occupies more than one structure, the SEGCA will only be paid once for the household; if more than one household occupies one structure, the SEGCA will only be paid once for the structure, and the households will have to agree amongst themselves on the sharing arrangement.  The amount of SEGCA receivable in individual cases with special circumstances which warrant discretion to be exercised by SDEV to grant SEGCA will be determined with reference to, inter alia, the length of continuous occupation in the structures concerned for domestic use immediately preceding the date of freezing survey.  The cash allowance will be discounted at a maximum of $500,000 if the relevant household opts for purchasing an SSF under the SRS mentioned in item (a) above.

 

(c) Domestic Removal Allowance (DRA)

 

The coverage of DRA would be extended to all households covered by the freezing survey and vacated by the Government.

 

The special C&R arrangements of SEGCA and DRA proposed above would be subject to approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council.

 

Enhanced Conventional New Town (CNT) Approach

 

Drawing reference to the arrangements for the KTN/FLN NDAs project, the Government will adopt the enhanced CNT approach as the mode of implementation for HSK NDA.  Under the approach, the Government will, as a general rule, resume and clear all the private land planned for developments, and dispose of the land planned for private developments in the market.  Prior to the programmed resumption and clearance of land, the Government may allow in-situ land exchange applications from private land owners of individual sites within areas planned for private development, subject to their meeting specified criteria and conditions designed to facilitate early development of the NDA, achieve the planning scheme of the NDA, and ensure that occupants on such private land would not be treated worse-off in terms of monetary compensation receivable when compared with the scenario of resumption by the Government.  This approach allows for a comprehensive and well-coordinated implementation programme over which the Government would have firm control to ensure timely development of the NDA to meet Hong Kong’s housing and other development needs.

 

The enhanced CNT approach is formulated largely on the basis of that applied to the KTN/FLN NDAs, with the criteria for processing land exchange applications in HSK NDA formulated and refined taking into consideration the planning context of the project.  In particular, refinements have been made to facilitate the creation of a “Regional Economic and Civic Hub” in the NDA for the NWNT, providing a large amount of land for commercial and industrial uses which are crucial for the economic development and employment generation in the region.  The refined criteria for considering land exchange applications for sites in commercial and private residential zones as set out at Enclosure 2 have included additional requirements to help achieve the planning objectives with reference to the Hung Shui Kiu and Ha Tsuen Outline Development Plan (the ODP) (Enclosure 3) which is based on the Revised Recommended Outline Development Plan for HSK NDA.

 

General and special industrial sites are excluded from in-situ land exchange.  General industrial sites zoned “Industrial” (“I”) in the ODP are designated to provide opportunity for industrial operators affected by the NDA project to bid for these “I” sites through open-bidding for relocating their operations, if they wish to do so, before the resumption of their existing industrial lots.  Special industrial zones6 are planned to cater for policy-driven industrial land uses.  The implementation models and mechanisms would be subject to considerations by the relevant bureaux in the context of their policies for the respective sectors/industries.  A site to the immediate southeast of Hung Fuk Estate currently occupied by Light Rail (LRT) facilities (i.e. LRT emergency loop and bus depot for bus parking at night time) which is designated “OU” annotated “Commercial and Residential Development with Light Rail Facilities” in the ODP is also excluded from land exchange.  This is because a substantial portion of the site is currently occupied by the LRT facilities and the development of the site would require in-situ reprovisioning of the LRT facilities.

 

Arrangements for Affected Brownfield Operations

 

Upon full implementation, the HSK NDA will transform some 190 ha of brownfield sites into an integral part of a new generation new town, removing such brownfield sites and their incompatibilities and releasing the land they occupied for new town development, thereby greatly enhancing land use efficiency and improving the overall environment.

 

As part of our efforts to tackle brownfield sites and to facilitate implementation of HSK NDA, the Government are exploring the technical feasibility and financial viability of accommodating and consolidating some of the brownfield operations that are still needed in Hong Kong in a more land efficient manner, such as in multi-storey industrial buildings (MSBs).  To this end, the Civil Engineering and Development Department has commissioned feasibility studies on MSBs for accommodating brownfield operations in HSK NDA.  The studies cover the conceptual design, planning, engineering, environmental and financial assessments, and explore possible mode of operation and management of the proposed MSBs.  Relevant stakeholders, including existing operators, trade representatives and locals, will be consulted during the feasibility studies in order to understand their operational needs and listen to their views.  The studies are expected to be completed within 2018.  Apart from MSBs, the Government would not rule out the possibility and need for accommodating certain operations which could not be practically feasible to move into MSBs on suitable open-air sites with provision of proper infrastructure and segregation from sensitive receivers. The Government have reserved about 24 ha of land in the northern part of the HSK NDA in the ODP for accommodating brownfield operations in a more land efficient manner7, and would explore other potential sites in the nearby areas.

 

Upon clearance, eligible business operators may be offered ex-gratia allowances (EGAs).  In this regard, the Government announced on 11 April 2017 the proposal of extending the current EGA arrangement for eligible business undertakings.  For details, please refer to the Legislative Council Panel on Development paper on the proposal issued on 11 April 2017 (LC Paper No. CB(1)801/16-17(01)).  The proposal of extending the current EGA arrangement will be subject to approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, and would be applicable to eligible business operators affected by HSK NDA, if approved.

 

As part of the Government’s overall multi-pronged land use strategy, and beyond the release of brownfield sites through comprehensive land development projects (including HSK NDA, KTN/FLN NDAs and Yuen Long South development which cover a total of some 340 ha brownfield sites) and individual public housing development projects, Development Bureau aims to formulate a policy framework to tackle brownfield sites in a holistic manner, in collaboration with relevant government bureaux and departments, with the objectives of optimising land utilisation, rationalising rural land uses, supporting industrial development and improving the rural environment.  The Government would consult the Panel on the details in due course.

 

Arrangements for Affected Agricultural Operations

 

According to the broad estimation made under the study, about 7 ha of active farmland will be affected by the HSK NDA development.  Under the special agricultural land rehabilitation arrangement proposed for the farmers affected by the KTN/FLN NDAs project, priority assistance will be given to match them with landowners who are willing to sell/lease land for agricultural use. The Government will apply the same arrangement to the HSK NDA project.  In this connection, the Government have identified clusters of agricultural land in Lau Fau Shan and Pak Nai which may be suitable for rehabilitation. The Government are formulating the details of the special agricultural land rehabilitation arrangements for HSK NDA in collaboration with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

 


Footnote
1.
For KTN/FLN NDAs project, a one-off bridging allowance in the form of a lump-sum cash allowance to cover broadly the rental expenses during the time gap between clearance and flat intake date would be offered. According to the latest development programme for HSK NDA, it is the plan to make the rehousing units at the reserved rehousing sites for HSK NDA available in time for clearance, the special C&R arrangements for HSK NDA do not include any bridging allowance.
2.
Eligible households are those which occupy licensed or surveyed domestic or non-domestic structures for domestic use in the 1982 squatter structure survey (SSS), are registered in the 1984/85 squatter occupancy survey (SOS), are registered in the freezing survey, do not own properties and meet other specified eligibility criteria and restrictions. The Secretary for Development may exercise discretions to cater for the special circumstances of individual households (e.g. households not registered in the 1984/85 SOS but have resided in the licensed/survey structures for 10 years or more prior to freezing survey, and elderly households with compassionate grounds).
3.
Under the SRS, households should be subject to the maximum asset and income limits for HKHS’s Group B rental housing and there is no minimum income limit. Rental units of HKHS fall into two groups: Group A and Group B.  Group A caters for low-income families whereas Group B targets families of relatively higher incomes.  The eligibility criteria of Group A are very similar to the Comprehensive Means Test (CMT) requirement of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA)’s public rental housing units while those of Group B are more lenient than HKHA’s CMT requirement.  For illustration purpose, for a family of four, as at 1 June 2017, the maximum family income and family asset limits under Group A eligibility are $27,500 and $510,000 respectively, while those under Group B eligibility are $42,000 and $510,000 respectively.  The corresponding minimum family income limit of $27,501 under Group B eligibility is not applicable for assessing the eligibility of clearees for rental units at the Dedicated Rehousing Estate under the SRS.
4.
For the purpose of the SRS, an elderly household is broadly defined as a household with at least 50% of its members (excluding children aged below 18 at the time of actual clearance) being elderly persons aged 60 or above at the time of actual clearance.
5.
See footnote 2 above.
6.
Including “OU” annotated “Enterprise and Technology Park”, “OU” annotated “Logistics Facility” and “OU” annotated “Port Back Up, Storage and Workshop Use” which are designated for policy-driven industrial uses. The “OU” annotated “Port Back Up, Storage and Workshop Use” zone is also planned for re-accommodation of some of the brownfield operations affected by the HSK NDA project.
7.
The sites for accommodation of some of the brownfield operations affected by the HSK NDA project are zoned “OU” annotated “Port Back Up, Storage and Workshop Use” in the ODP.