Surveyors urge relaxed rules on compulsory sales

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2000, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors has called on the Government to make it easier for developers to acquire properties for urban redevelopment and rural land development.

The law governing compulsory sale orders was too rigid and should be relaxed, the institute's urban renewal committee chairman David Lee Tsung-hei said.

The existing statute empowers the Lands Tribunal to order owners to sell their properties to private developers for redevelopment.

But there were certain restrictions which made it difficult for developers to get orders from the tribunal, Mr Lee said.

Lau Chun-kong, a committee member, said only four to five applications for sale orders had been lodged by developers.

Developers are required to own 90 per cent of the units in a building before they can ask the Lands Tribunal for a compulsory order forcing remaining owners to sell.

Mr Lee said the statue should be amended to encourage more comprehensive development of combined or neighbouring properties as well as single buildings.

He said the 90 per cent threshold should be based on the total units in the proposed development if it comprised more than one building.

Under the present regulations, the threshold is based on the units of each individual building.

Rules for acquiring New Territories' rural land for development should also be relaxed, said Mr Lee.