1. How does Urban Renewal Authority (URA) carry out redevelopment projects?
Under the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance ( Cap. 563 of the Laws of Hong Kong), the URA may develop an area of land by way of a development project or a development scheme.
If, in accordance with the Town Planning Ordinance ( Cap. 131 of the Laws of Hong Kong), amendment of the land use indicated in the Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) is not required, the URA can implement the project as a “development project”.
If the project area is sizable and an amendment to the land use zoning indicated in the OZP is required, the URA can implement the project by means of a “development scheme”. Since the OZP has to be amended, the URA has to submit a draft plan to the Town Planning Board. After a hearing, the URA considers their presentations and comments received in respect of the draft plan, and submits a draft plan or amended draft plan to the Chief Executive in Council for approval.
If you want to know more, please visit Properties Arrangements > Redevelopment and acquisition of property > The URA-initiated redevelopment projects .
2. Can I object to URA’s redevelopment projects?
When the URA decides to redevelop a site, it will make public announcement of the redevelopment project in the Gazette and newspapers for two months. The general information of the redevelopment project will be exhibited for public inspection.
During the public announcement period, people affected by the redevelopment project may make objections to the URA (in the case of the development project) or the Town Planning Board (in the case of the development scheme).
In the case of the development project, the Secretary for Development will make the decision to authorize the URA to proceed with the redevelopment project with or without any amendment or decline to authorize the redevelopment project. However, an aggrieved objector to the decision of the Secretary for Development can appeal to the Appeal Board.
In the case of development scheme, the Chief Executive in Counsel will make the final decision.
For more details about how to make objections and appeals, please visit Properties Arrangements > Redevelopment and acquisition of property > The URA-initiated redevelopment projects > B. Objections and appeals .
3. What is the Flat-for-Flat Scheme?
The Flat-for-Flat Scheme (FFF), which commenced after the promulgation of the new Urban Renewal Strategy on 24 February 2011, is applicable to owners affected by the URA’s redevelopment projects. Domestic owner-occupiers affected by the URA’s redevelopment projects may opt for the FFF in lieu of cash compensation.
Domestic owner-occupiers who opt for the FFF must first accept the amount of cash compensation calculated on the basis of the value of a notional seven-year-old replacement flat. They could then have a choice of ‘in-situ’ flats situated in the lowest five to eight floors in the future new development or flats in an FFF Scheme to be developed by the URA on a site at Kai Tak. The unit prices for new flats are fixed at the time of the acquisition offer.
If you want to know more, please visit Properties Arrangements > Redevelopment and acquisition of property > Flat-for-flat Scheme .
4. Under what circumstances can a person/company apply for compulsory sale of a lot of land?
In order to encourage the redevelopment of dilapidated buildings, the Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance ( Cap. 545 of the Laws of Hong Kong) and the Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) (Specification of Lower Percentage) Notice ( Cap. 545A of the Laws of Hong Kong) were brought into force.
Stage 1 – Application
A person or persons who own not less than 90% or 80% (depending on the nature of the lot) of the interest in a lot (i.e. the majority owner) may make an application to the Lands Tribunal for an order to sell all the interest in the lot for the purpose of redevelopment.
Stage 2 – Determination of application
The Lands Tribunal will then decide whether or not a compulsory sale order should be made and determine the reserve price. The majority owner must satisfy the Lands Tribunal that (1) the redevelopment of the lot is justified due to the age or state of repair of the existing development on the lot and (2)the majority owner has taken reasonable steps to acquire all the interests in the lot.
Stage 3 – The sale
If the compulsory sale order is granted, the lot will be sold by public auction unless all the parties agree in writing to other means of sale approved by the Lands Tribunal.
Stage 4 – Apportionment and application of sale proceeds
The proceeds of sale after deduction of associated expenses will be apportioned between the majority and minority owners on a pro rata basis.
For more details regarding compulsory sale of land, please visit Properties Arrangements > Redevelopment and acquisition of property > Compulsory sale .
5. I refused to sell my properties for redevelopment and was being intimidated. What should I do?
There are sometimes news reports on intimidation tactics applied to minority property owners who refuse to sell their properties for redevelopment. The intimidation acts may include:
- excessive telephone calls;
- shouting outside the properties;
- cutting off electricity and water supply;
- using glue to block the key hole; or
- using a chain lock to lock the door gate.
If property owners face these acts of intimidation, they should immediately report them to the police, as they may be criminal offences. Property owners can also consult lawyers and apply for an injunction if necessary to avoid further intimidation and harassment.
If you want to seek assistance regarding redevelopment and acquisition of real property, please visit Properties Arrangements > Redevelopment and acquisition of property > Intimidation tactics faced by property owners .