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Press Statement on Staunton Street/Wing Lee Street (H19) Project Court Ruling

In response to media enquiries today (18 January 2007) on the Staunton Street/Wing Lee Street project, a spokesperson for the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) issues the following statement:

In March 2003, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) commenced the Staunton Street/Wing Lee Street project and submitted a development scheme plan application to the Town Planning Board (TPB). The project is one of the 25 projects announced in 1998 but not commenced by the former Land Development Corporation. The URA has included it in the first five-year Corporate Plan for priority consideration.
 
We fully understand the anxieties of owners and residents affected by the project. The judicial review has however caused some inevitable delay.  We must first obtain approval of the development scheme plan by the TPB and then the Chief Executive-in-Council before commencing property acquisition and rehousing /compensation for tenants.
 
We remain of the view that the development scheme plan previously submitted to and adopted by the TPB is the best for the project in that it will provide a better layout and more open space while avoiding piecemeal development.   Financial impact is only one of the factors that need to be taken into consideration.
 
At this stage, we are in no position to offer any comment on the judgment as the TPB has not yet made any decision on this judgment.  This notwithstanding, we will continue to maintain close contacts with the owners and residents, and will monitor developments closely.
 
In going about this project, we stand prepared to consider any practical and feasible proposals that will enable the URA to discharge its duties as a responsible public organization.  In this regard, consideration will be given to several principles including importance of the project to the revitalization of the area; legitimate interests of the owners and residents; fair treatment to all owners alike; and the financial impact for the URA.
 
For individual residents in genuine hardship, staff of the URA and its Social Service Team will continue to render them with whatever practical assistance necessary. In the meantime, the URA will continue to liaise with government departments concerned on matters such as law and order, environmental hygiene and street lighting within the redevelopment site in the interest of the residents.