New World Development has won court approval to force the remaining flat owners of a Tai Hang apartment complex to sell their units. The Lands Tribunal yesterday sanctioned the compulsory sales order for the 43-year-old Villa Splendor on Chun Fai Terrace and appointed a trustee that will choose a property agency or surveyor firm to handle the public auction of the flats within a month. New World - which wants to build a luxury project on the site - applied for the approval last year after paying HK$615 million in 2005 for 92 per cent ownership of the building, a level at which it could force the sale of the remaining units through an auction under the redevelopment ordinance. The source expects the auction to be held in April. The Villa Splendor site, next to Cheung Kong (Holdings)' The Legend luxury residential project, houses four three-storey apartment buildings with a total of 12 units and a gross floor area of about 20,000 square feet. But with a maximum plot ratio of five, the 12,800 sq ft site could provide a total gross floor area of 64,000 sq ft. The site is restricted to medium-density residential development with a 30-storey height limit. Property prices at The Legend, the new residential project in the area, range between HK$18,000 and HK$20,000 per square foot, according to Centaline Property senior associate director Edith Choi. Surveyor Albert So Chun-hin said that since the Villa Splendor site is relatively slight, it would probably be used for a small-scale luxury residential project. He expects the average price of the project to be HK$15,000 per square foot after completion, saying its smaller scale than The Legend will limit its amenities. The development site is valued at HK$640 million or HK$10,000 per square foot.