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Managing Director of the URA, Ms Iris Tam (Centre), Executive Director (Commercial & Operations) of the URA, Mr Pius Cheng, and Director of The Urban Redevelopment Facilitating Services Co. Ltd., Mr Ian Wong, at the media briefing outlining the revisions to the demand-led redevelopment project and facilitating services pilot schemes.

URA announces revisions to demand-led redevelopment projects pilot scheme and facilitating services pilot scheme

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) announced the revisions to the pilot schemes of its demand-led redevelopment project and facilitating services following the decision of the URA Board earlier.

The demand-led redevelopment project and facilitating services pilot schemes were among the key initiatives set out in the 2011 Urban Renewal Strategy which enables the URA to take a more diverse approach in redevelopment to speed up the pace of urban renewal.

The URA has conducted a comprehensive review of the demand-led redevelopment project pilot scheme based on the experience from the last three rounds of applications received. The Development Panel of the Legislative Council, the seven District Advisory Committees of the URA and district councils in the URA's major redevelopment areas were consulted. At the same time, the URA has also conducted a review of its facilitating services pilot scheme.  An Ad-hoc committee under the URA Board which was set up in April this year has overseen the review and made recommendations to the Board.

Outlining the revisions at a media briefing this afternoon, the Managing Director of the URA, Iris Tam, said the revisions were made to ensure that the benefits to the community could be optimised while maintaining the sustainability of the URA's urban renewal programme in the longer run.

Under the demand-led redevelopment project pilot scheme, the application threshold will be increased from 67 percent to 80 percent, while the minimum size for application site would be raised from 400 square metres to 700 square metres.

"Adjusting the application threshold for demand-led redevelopment projects would help engage more property owners at an early stage, thereby enhancing the success rate of the scheme," said Ms Tam.
  
One of the two conditions precedent for the demand-led project scheme is that owners of not less than 80 percent of undivided shares of each lot in the project shall accept the URA's conditional offers within 75 days. The project will be aborted if this condition is not fulfilled.

She added that the increased minimum size for application site would enhance the planning gain and efficiency of floor layout for the redevelopment, thereby benefitting the wider community.  Greater weighting will also be given to the building conditions in selecting the demand-led projects.

The URA plans to invite applications for the fourth round of projects under its demand-led redevelopment project pilot scheme during the financial year of 2015/16.

In enhancing its facilitating services pilot scheme, the URA will expand its scope to cover commercial buildings and industrial buildings within non-industrial zones in addition to residential buildings. The facilitating services aim to help property owners in assembling their property interests for joint sale in the market for redevelopment. As provided in the Urban Renewal Strategy, no acquisition or compensation or resumption by URA will be involved in facilitating services scheme.

"As more property owners become familiar with the facilitating services pilot scheme, the URA will strengthen its 'facilitator' role to initiate more projects and include different types of buildings in order to release their redevelopment potentials," said Executive Director of URA, Mr. Pius Cheng. 

He added that the URA has worked out the implementation details for the extended services.  The enhanced scheme will take effect from today.

(ENDS)