Noisy construction work hammered by new rules
Environmental protection officials have rejected an application by Cheung Kong to work on the Chinese Foreign Ministry building after office hours and on Sundays.
The billion dollar building in Mid-Levels has been dogged by criticism from residents who have lodged 29 complaints about noise since work began.
Principal environmental officer David Wong Tak-wai confirmed the application was one of nine refused out of a total of 15 received by his area under new regulations.
Assistant director John Boxall said overall about 40 per cent of applications for permits under the new regulations had been rejected compared to 20 per cent under the current rules.
The amendment to the Noise Control Ordinance will prohibit noisy manual labour between 7 pm and 7 am, and on Sundays and public holidays in designated areas.
The existing ordinance only controls the use of powered equipment - not manual labour - via permits.
Mr Boxall said: 'After November 1, you can still apply for a noise permit on the same basis as before for powered mechanical equipment.
'I have the right of not issuing a licence if it is to be used in conjunction with prescribed construction work.' Out of 94 applications submitted for general construction work since mid-October, 62 fell into the designated areas where the stricter controls would apply and 26 of those had been refused.
Secretary-general of the Hong Kong Construction Association, Patrick Chan Wing-tung, said: 'This will have a great effect on the industry. We will lose one day a week at least. We are talking about 10 per cent more in costs.' Member of the Legislative Council's infrastructure panel, Albert Chan Wai-yip, welcomed the regulations: 'It will definitely create more inconvenience but whether this will mean higher costs will be difficult to predict.'