Speedy compensation plan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 February, 2000, 12:00am

OWNERS of shops that are demolished for redevelopment may soon be able to claim compensation for the loss of business without having to provide proof.

The new approach is being considered by the Government to speed up urban slum clearance by avoiding drawn-out negotiations with affected shopkeepers.

The present practice requires shopkeepers to substantiate their claims by producing relevant taxes or other supporting documents showing profits and losses.

Deputy Secretary for Planning and Lands Stephen Fisher said most owners of small shops did not keep good records.

'The amount of compensation they are likely to receive is relatively modest,' said Mr Fisher.

He added that the Government was also reviewing the compensation formula for affected homeowners, who may be offered enough to buy a five-year-old flat. At present, the payouts are based on the owners replacing their homes with 10-year-old flats.