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Kai Tak site accident being probed

The Government expressed that it is highly concerned about an accident involving the collapse of a bamboo scaffold at a Kai Tak construction site today in which two workers were killed and three others injured.   A preliminarily investigation by the Buildings Department (BD) found that the scaffold, measuring about 15m by 8m, fell to the ground from the external wall on the 19th floor of a building under construction.   The BD said it will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the incident, including whether the scaffold, as temporary works, complied with the Buildings Ordinance and whether the registered contractor and any related persons have properly discharged their responsibilities.   It added that if anyone is found in contravention of the ordinance, it will take follow-up actions, including instigating prosecution and referring to the Contractors Disciplinary Board for disciplinary proceedings.   The Labour Department (LD) also launched an immed

Land redevelopment bill published

The Government today introduced an amendment bill into the Legislative Council for updating and streamlining the compulsory sale regime by proposing to reduce the compulsory sale application thresholds for private buildings aged 50 or above.

 

It noted that the proposed amendment aims to expedite the consolidation of property interests to facilitate the redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings and improve people's livelihood.

 

For private buildings in designated areas, if their age falls within the range of 50 to 59, the thresholds will be reduced from 80% to 70%. If their age is 60 or above, the thresholds will be reduced to 65%.

 

The designated areas cover Cheung Sha Wan, Sham Shui Po, Ma Tau Kok, Kowloon City, To Kwa Wan, Mong Kok, Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan, Tsuen Wan, Wan Chai and Yau Ma Tei.

 

For private buildings in non-designated areas, if their age falls within the range of 60 to 69, the thresholds will be reduced from 80% to 70%.

 

For buildings aged 70 or above, regardless of their location, the thresholds will be 65%.

 

Moreover, even with no common staircases connecting the buildings thereon, the bill proposes to allow an applicant to amalgamate two or more adjoining lots and take the average of the ownership in those lots for the purpose of facilitating joint redevelopment of adjoining lots.

 

The bill also proposes streamlining the legal process of the compulsory sale regime. If the building erected on a lot is aged 50 or above and all minority owners do not object to redevelopment, an applicant will be dispensed with the requirement to submit expert reports to the Lands Tribunal to justify the need for redevelopment, thereby shortening the processing time of the application.

 

On enhancing support for affected minority owners, the bill proposes to allow minority owners who are owner-occupiers to stay in their former properties for a period of not more than six months after the compulsory sale, to allow more time for them to arrange relocation.

 

The Government noted that the legislative proposals have duly considered the views of the public and relevant stakeholders, and have struck an appropriate balance between expediting the redevelopment of old buildings and protecting the rights of minority owners.

 

The bill will be gazetted on December 22 and introduced into LegCo for the first reading on January 10, 2024.


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