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General Manager (Acquisition & Clearance), Mr Kelvin Chung (left), and Assistant General Manager (Planning & Design), Mr Christopher Wong (right), at the media briefing of Ash Street demand-led redevelopment project.
Existing view of Ash Street demand-led redevelopment project
Existing view of Ash Street demand-led redevelopment project
Site plan of Ash Street demand-led redevelopment project
Site plan of Ash Street demand-led redevelopment project

URA commences the fourth and last redevelopment project in the third round of demand-led pilot scheme

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) announced the commencement of the fourth and last demand-led redevelopment project in the third round demand-led pilot scheme. The project, located at Nos. 5 - 13 Ash Street (odd number) in Tai Kok Tsui, is the 11th demand-led project commenced by the URA since the introduction of the demand-led pilot scheme in 2011.

Occupying a site area of about 474 square metres, the project comprises five building blocks which were built in 1965 and in varied condition with unauthorised building structures. The living condition is considered unsatisfactory.

The project affects a total of 79 property interests (including 65 domestic and 14 non-domestic property interests). It is estimated that there are about 128 households and about six ground floor shops. The actual number will have to be confirmed in a freezing survey to be conducted by the URA today.

Speaking at a media briefing this morning, Assistant General Manager (Planning & Design), Mr Christopher Wong, said the continued implementation of the project is subject to the fulfillment of both of two conditions precedent after the freezing survey conducted today.  These two conditions precedent are:

1. Owners of not less than 80 percent of undivided shares of each lot in the project site accepting URA's conditional acquisition offers to be issued after the two-month publication period and signing legally binding sale and purchase agreements within 75 days of the offers (the 80% acceptance condition precedent); and

2. The Secretary for Development authorises URA to implement the project and no appeal is filed within the appeal period or if appeal is filed, the dismissal of appeal, within one year of the issue of the conditional acquisition offers by the URA (the Secretary authorisation condition precedent). 
 
If any of the two conditions precedent is not met within the prescribed time, the project will not be implemented further and be ceased automatically.

In accordance with Section 23 of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, an URA notice announcing the commencement of the project is published in the Gazette today. There will be a two-month publication period commencing today. The URA will consider written objections to the project received during the publication period.

Also speaking at the briefing session, General Manager (Acquisition & Clearance) of the URA, Mr Kelvin Chung, said conditional offers would be issued to the property owners for acceptance soonest possible after the two-month publication period. The offers will be valid for 75 days. 

"If the 80% acceptance condition precedent is fulfilled within the 75-day period and the Secretary authorisation condition precedent is fulfilled within the one year period, the URA will then complete the sale and purchase agreements already signed with the relevant owners. Flat-for-flat option will be offered to eligible owner-occupiers thereafter. If not, the project will be ceased automatically," said Mr Chung.

Mr Chung said that about 50 URA staff members have been deployed to conduct the freezing survey to ascertain the actual number of households and the occupancy status of the properties within the project site.
 
The URA will arrange briefing sessions next week to explain to the affected owners and tenants the planning procedures and the acquisition and compensation arrangements for demand-led projects.
 
During the two-month publication period, a site plan delineating the boundary of the project plus a general description will be put on display for public inspection at:

1. the URA's Urban Renewal Resource Centre, 1/F, 6 Fuk Tsun Street, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon;

2. the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Yau Tsim Mong District Office, G/F, Mong Kok Government Offices, 30 Luen Wan Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon; and

3. URA Headquarters, 26/F, COSCO Tower, 183 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong.

Such information is also available on the URA website at http://www.ura.org.hk/.

An urban renewal social service team staffed by professional social workers of Christian Family Service Centre, which has been appointed by the Urban Renewal Fund, will provide counselling and practical assistance that the residents may need. The contact number of the social service team is 3580 8841. 

The URA's current proposal is to redevelop the project to provide about 3,100 square metres of residential floor area for about 69 residential units. It will also provide non-domestic floor area of about 390 square metres. The project is tentatively scheduled for completion by 2021/2022.  The total development cost for the project is estimated at about $770 million at current prices.

(ENDS)