Anger over new restrictions at crowded cemetery

A limit on the supply of spaces for burial urns at the Wo Hop Shek Cemetery could lead to more people cremating the bones of their relatives after the seven-year burial limit passes, putting pressure on hard-pressed columbariums.

Saturday, 26 May, 2012, 12:00am

A problem that won't be buried

After not taking the mushrooming of private columbariums seriously until last year, the government must do its best to strike a sensitive balance as it tries to restore order by regulating them. It cannot please everyone. Lawmakers, for example, complain that a proposed system for licensing the columbariums leaves a lot of loopholes for illegal operators.

19 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

A move to regulate urn niches


15 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Problem far from dead and buried

Dying without a final resting place is a Chinese taboo. Yet that is the frustrating reality for thousands of Hong Kong families. The lack of public burial places means many have to wait for months or sometimes years to lay their loved ones to rest.

14 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Columbarium loses challenge

About 200 buyers of funeral-urn niches at a Yuen Long columbarium have been left in limbo after a court upheld a finding that the operator had violated planning rules.

4 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Court to rule on shrine status

A court will rule on whether to allow a legal challenge over the status of a converted building that contains niches for urns. A judge reserved judgment yesterday on whether the building should be classified a shrine or a columbarium.

27 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Columbarium wins green award

A public columbarium has won a merit award in an architectural competition for its green design that seeks to tackle problems often associated with urns.

4 May 2011 - 12:00am

Legal confusion clouds Ching Ming

There was confusion on the Ching Ming festival yesterday as people carried out traditional rituals amid puzzlement over what was and what was not a bona fide columbarium.

Columbariums, which store funerary urns containing cremated remains, are in high demand because of a severe shortage of urn niches. Private operators are thriving, but some have breached rules.

6 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Columbariums defy name-and-shame campaign

It's business as usual for at least 21 of 57 private columbarium operators named by the government for breaching planning rules and land leases, with some offering incentives such as cash rebates and free niches to attract business.

5 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Urn firm claims it's running a shrine

When is a columbarium not a columbarium? When it's a shrine.

That's the contention of a company - set on expanding its niche business - that has launched an unlikely legal challenge to the government's definition of a columbarium.

23 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Officials seize land from columbarium operator in dispute

A columbarium operator locked in a land dispute with the government had part of its site seized by authorities yesterday.

Police and lands officials arrived at The Shrine, which is being converted from a historic village house into a resting place for the ashes of the dead in San Wai Tsuen, Yuen Long, in the afternoon and ordered work to stop.

15 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Little progress has been made on columbariums

The government last week took a step towards clarifying some issues in the area of unregulated columbarium operations by listing those which are operating within legal requirements, and those which are suspected of being non-compliant with regulations or operating illegally.

22 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

Columbarium in industrial building rejected

The Town Planning Board yesterday rejected the city's first application to convert an industrial building into a columbarium.

Yield Surplus International Group's application involved a four-storey vacant industrial building with total gross floor area of 4,348 square metres, in Yip Shing Street, Kwai Chung.

27 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

Submissions back plan to license burial niche facilities, officials say

A three-month exercise to gather the public's views on how to provide space for people to store their ancestors' ashes has ended with 520 submissions - about 300 of them rushed in over the past 10 days.

1 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Niche design tops concerns for residents

A good design is the most important factor in persuading people to accept columbariums being built in their neighbourhood.

That's according to a recent telephone survey of 1,000 locals aged 40 or above, conducted by the Hong Kong Transition Project. They were asked about their key concerns should the government decide to build a columbarium near their homes.

5 Sep 2010 - 12:00am