Planning board gets help from green group

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 August, 2011, 12:00am


A green group plans to join the government in a legal fight against property developers over height restrictions for buildings in four urban areas.

Roy Tam Hoi-pong, head of Green Sense, said his group, having made submissions to the board when it discussed height limits for three of the four areas, would apply to the court for leave to join the case as an interested party. The height controls were 'crucial' and 'reasonable' because they helped to prevent wall-like effects that obstructed air ventilation, he said.

'We don't usually help the government, but in this case we seriously think that building height restrictions set by the Town Planning Board are reasonable and useful,' Tam said.

'Developers have long enjoyed benefits under the town planning system, like having tall towers approved in other districts such as Tsim Sha Tsui. I think they are being selective in raising objections to the board.'

By getting involved in the case, the group wanted to bring in its own experts and give more information to the court to consider, Tam said.

Last week, the Real Estate Developers Association applied to the High Court for leave of a judicial review against the board's decision to set height limits in Wan Chai, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei and Kowloon Bay in April and May.

The association said in the writ the board's procedure for making decisions was unfair and its own representations did not receive fair consideration.