New building policy already causing change

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 October, 2010, 12:00am

The government's new development policy for buildings doesn't take effect until April next year, but the rules intended to cap the amount of space allocated to amenities - and hence the bulk of a building overall - are already having an effect.

Urban Renewal Authority chiefs will tighten rules on 'inflated buildings' for an upcoming residential project before the new system aimed tackling the problem takes effect.

The MTR Corporation, on the other hand, says it will stick to the old rules for West Rail projects.

And buildings officials have announced that they will not allow developers to continue making unlimited amendments to plans that are submitted from now on. Once approved, exemptions will lapse in two years if construction has not started.

The latter move is intended to stop a rush among developers to submit plans before the April 2011 deadline to take advantage of the current, more generous, exemption policy.

The URA, in a tender document issued yesterday to 15 developers for a residential project at Fuk Tsun Street and Pine Street in Tai Kok Tsui, requires that developers 'must comply with the future practice notes' for the exemption policy for green features such as balconies and clubhouses.

Meanwhile, the MTR's six projects, to be built atop three West Rail stations and the Tin Shui Wai light-rail station, will have large car parks, clubhouses and shopping malls taking up as many as seven levels of the buildings if the old rules are applied.