Obstacle to urban renewal targeted

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 January, 1998, 12:00am

Draft laws on compulsory sales for redevelopment will be gazetted tomorrow in an effort to boost the private sector's role in speeding urban renewal.

The Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Bill will allow owners of a clear majority of shares in a lot meriting priority redevelopment to apply to the Lands Tribunal for an order for sale of the whole lot. In a paper submitted to the provisional legislature, the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau said: 'The problem of property acquisition is worsening as more and more medium to high-rise buildings are now ripe for redevelopment.

'Individual owners may refuse to sell for personal reasons or demand unreasonably high prices.

'A private redevelopment may have to be abandoned or may take a very long time to complete because of the above difficulties.' The bureau said the bill would also help ensure private redevelopments would continue to contribute significantly to the Government's annual flat production target.