Mei Foo injunction bid rejected a second time

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2011, 12:00am


The developer who wants to build a controversial high-rise in Mei Foo Sun Chuen failed a second time to get an interim injunction against protesters blocking the construction site.

In the Court of First Instance, Deputy Judge Queeny Au Yeung Kwai-yue ruled again that Billion Star Development had failed to show urgency for the court to grant an interim injunction. The court first rejected the developer's application on April 29. Yesterday, it refused to grant leave to appeal over that decision.

Billion Star, which residents believe is backed by New World Development, has sought to end the protests that have halted work at the site since March, including a lie-down demonstration that drew 500 people.

The developer failed to show urgency by not applying to fast-track the hearing date, set for December 19, the judge said. The court will decide after a three-day hearing in December whether to grant the developer an injunction against the protesters, and to award HK$1.4 million it claims to have lost from delays in construction.

One of the 10 named defendants, Yip Siu-chau, said outside the court they were happy with the decision.

But the developer succeeded in keeping a category of 'unnamed defendants' - those who entered the site without permission and who interfered with the developer's access.

Claudia Mo of the Civic Party, and 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung and Tsang Kin-shing of the League of Social Democrats, claimed at the last hearing on April 29 that they were among the unnamed defendants. Outside court, Mo described the category as ridiculous, saying it could include up to 500 people who had protested at the site. If an injunction were granted, it would apply to all of them. The court yesterday approved the developer's application to have Mo, Tsang and Leung named as separate defendants, bringing the total to 10. The unnamed category is still open.

Billion Star's proposed 20-storey block would use residual development rights from the neighbouring Mei Foo Phase 8. The residents disputed the legality of the project and say the developer is the trespasser by using a private road within Mei Foo.

Mo said one of the residents had applied for a judicial review over the matter but had been denied legal aid.