Planning procedures for Sham Shui Po project to commence
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) commenced the statutory planning procedures for a new project at a development cost of $ 424 million in Sham Shui Po, giving a further boost to regenerate the district where comprehensive urban renewal initiatives have been implemented.
Speaking at a media briefing for the new project, Director (Acquisition & Clearance) of the URA, Mr Joseph Lee, said: "Over the years, a total of 12 redevelopment projects involving 156 buildings have been implemented by the URA in Sham Shui Po, five in collaboration with the Housing Society (HS), to help improve the living environment of some 2,240 households."
Sham Shui Po will see a major facelift in the next few years upon the gradual completion of all these projects, Mr Lee said. Besides, some 86 buildings involving over 3,800 residential units in the district have also joined the building rehabilitation schemes of the URA and HS.
The project area is located at Shun Ning Road near Tonkin Street in Sham Shui Po, covering an area of about 827 square metres. Built in 1954-55, the five buildings within the project area are in a generally dilapidated condition with unauthorized rooftop structures. None of the buildings have owners' corporation to manage the buildings. "It is believed that the owners and tenants would welcome the redevelopment project because the buildings are in such a poor condition that they are beyond economic repair. Redevelopment is the solution to help them improve their living condition substantially," Mr Lee said.
In accordance with section 23 of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, a URA notice announcing the commencement of the project is published in the Gazette today, said Mr Lee.
For the next two months, a plan delineating the boundary of the project plus a general description will be put on display for public inspection at the URA Headquarters, 10/F, Low Block, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan; the URA's Sham Shui Po Neighbourhood Centre, G/F, 140 Yee Kuk Street, Sham Shui Po; and the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Sham Shui Po District Office, G/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.
In accordance with the Urban Renewal Strategy, the URA will make the detailed Social Impact Assessment report available for public inspection at the above venue from 5 August 2009.
"The URA will then have to consider all written objections received during the two-month consultation period before submitting the development project, together with the URA's deliberation on the objections, unwithdrawn objections, and an assessment of the likely effect of the implementation of the project to the Secretary for Development for consideration," said Mr Lee.
If approval is eventually granted by the Secretary for Development, the URA would proceed with acquisition of the properties and re-housing for the tenants in accordance with the prevailing acquisition and rehousing principles, which are estimated to cost about $194 million at current prices. Adding construction and interest to the budget, the total development cost is estimated to reach $ 424 million, he said.
The URA's initial proposal is to redevelop the site to provide about 110 residential units and 8,342 square feet (775 square metres) of commercial floor area, scheduled for completion by 2016/2017.
The project affects a total of 42 property interests. It is estimated that there are about 81 households comprising about 182 residents, but the actual number has yet to be ascertained in a freezing survey conducted by the URA today.
About 50 URA staff members were deployed to conduct the freezing survey to ascertain the actual number of households and the occupancy status. "The URA will arrange a briefing session shortly to explain to the affected owners and tenants the planning approval procedure and the prevailing acquisition and compensation arrangements," Mr Lee added.
An urban renewal social service team commissioned by the URA and staffed by professional social workers of The Salvation Army will provide counselling and practical assistance that the residents may need. The contact number of the social service team is 3188 2151. Affected residents can also visit the URA's Sham Shui Po Neighbourhood Centre, G/F, 140 Yee Kuk Street in person or call the URA's Hotline at 2588 2333 for enquiries.