APPLICATIONS to rebuild houses in the New Territories will be processed more quickly under a proposed new arrangement, according to the Buildings and Lands Department. The change in procedure will benefit hundreds of New Territories residents awaiting approval to rebuild or improve their houses. There are 401 outstanding applications in Yuen Long, 131 in Sai Kung and 86 in North District at present. The Director of Buildings and Lands, Mr Darwin Chen, told the Legislative Council's community and new territories affairs panel yesterday that they had proposed to allow applicants to appoint their own surveyors instead of waiting for the department staff to do the inspection. The department pledged to approve applications within three to six months if the applicants could provide a private surveyor's certificate to prove that their case fit the necessary requirements.