Illegal structures found at housing chief's property

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 November, 2012, 2:51pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 November, 2012, 8:59pm

Two suspected illegal structures were found at a house owned by the head of the Housing Department, Duncan Pescod, a Chinese-language newspaper reported on Monday.

Ming Pao Daily reported that the house in Clearwater Bay Road, Sai Kung, had an unauthorised glass canopy and awning. It published photos of the structures.

Pescod, the permanent secretary for transport and housing as well as director of housing, is the latest of several senior government officials found to have illegal structures at their homes.

They include Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and former education minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung.

Pescod issued a statement on Monday saying he had appointed a building contractor to remove the glass canopy and the awning at the house.

“The removal work is expected to complete today [Monday],” he said. “A thorough check will be conducted, and [I] will take any further follow-up action as necessary.”

Pescod said he and his wife bought the property when they returned from a posting in Belgium in 2008, as an investment and their retirement home.

He has no professional training in building works, and was not aware of any unauthorised building structures on the property, he said.

“Since the purchase, the property has been let out. [We] have never lived there and have visited it only infrequently,” Pescod said.

“[We], of course, decorated the property and carried out necessary repairs as requested by the tenants, but have certainly not installed any additional structures on the site.”