Henderson Land tells court it stands to lose years of work if Housing Authority redevelopment scheme goes ahead The Urban Renewal Authority wielded a dagger over the head of a property developer in a dispute over the authority's redevelopment plan for the SoHo area, a court heard yesterday. Benjamin Yu SC said Henderson Land had been told to sacrifice its interest after working for years to build up holdings in the area. He was speaking in the Court of First Instance as two Henderson affiliates - Capital Rich Development and Well Unicorn Development - began a judicial review of a Town Planing Board decision last March to approve the authority's redevelopment scheme. Mr Yu said that under the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, the authority had the legal power to apply to the government to take back any land owned by a property developer inside a designated redevelopment area. The planning board had rejected the developers' request to exclude properties it owned from the redevelopment plan for the area surrounding Staunton Street and Wing Lee Street. The 4,460 sq ft area includes 45 dilapidated buildings. The authority wants to build about 520 residential units and 2,800 square metres of retail space. The court heard Henderson had been acquiring properties along Chung Wo Lane, part of the development area, since 1998. Henderson had obtained various permits for its development between 2002 and early last year. The properties owned by Henderson's affiliates represent 19 per cent of the area slated for development by the Housing Authority. The developer wants the court to quash the Town Planning Board's decision to approve the authority's scheme, and to order the board to reconsider Henderson's request to exclude its properties from the SoHo redevelopment proposal. Mr Yu said the board had failed to take account of the interests of private developers. Thirty elderly residents of the SoHo area staged a protest outside court yesterday voicing their displeasure over being kept in a state of limbo because of the legal challenge by Henderson Land. The residents had been hoping for compensation or relocation by the Urban Renewal Authority after their neighbourhood was designated for demolition. Kam Nai-wai, a district councilor assisting the elderly residents, urged all parties to work together to avert litigation and implement the redevelopment plan. The case continues before Madam Justice Carlye Chu Fun-ling today.