Plot-ratio uncertainty clouds sale of Peak residential site

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 June, 1999, 12:00am

Developers are concerned about uncertainty over the gross floor area to be allowed on a luxury residential site on The Peak which is to be auctioned at the end of this month.

They found there was a discrepancy in the plot ratios stipulated in the land lease and the planning restrictions for the site on offer at 1 & 3 Homestead Road.

The 25,500-square-foot site has a plot ratio of 1.26 under the lease conditions provided by the Lands Department, which is higher than the restricted 0.5 for The Peak area under the outline zoning plan (OZP).

The lease conditions will enable the site to generate a maximum gross floor area of 32,292 sq ft, compared with 12,749 sq ft under the OZP restriction.

A developer who was interested in bidding for the site said it was strange to see such a big discrepancy between the lease conditions and the OZP.

He said the uncertainty over the site's potential gross floor area would affect his company's assessment of the lot's value, because of fears of a future dispute.

To clarify the situation, another developer said his company had requested it be allowed to conduct a survey of the existing building on the site.

He said the request was turned down by the Lands Department, which said the site was closed and barred from entry pending the auction.

The Lands Department, however, has confirmed the lease conditions are correct.

The lease conditions were formed after taking into account the area's OZP, a Lands Department spokesman said.

It was possible for the existing building's plot ratio to exceed the permissible level, he said.

According to the OZP for The Peak, 'the maximum plot ratio of new residential buildings should be restricted to 0.5 times, except that the existing buildings may be re-developed to a plot ratio not exceeding 0.5 or the existing plot ratio, whichever is greater'.

The Peak site will be sold at public auction on June 29, the second for this financial year.

Also on offer are a 40,321 sq ft residential site in Kwai Chung and a 27,878 sq ft, low-density residential site in Tai Po Kau.

The Tai Po Kau site in Tai Po will be the third site to be sold under the application list after expressions of interest by developers.