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Existing view of Lai Chai Kok / Kweilin Street & Yee Kuk Street redevelopment project
Most buildings were built in the 1950's and are in a dilapidated condition
Artist Impression of Lai Chi Kok Road / Kweilin Street & Yee Kuk Street redevelopment project

URA commences planning for two new projects in Sham Shui Po

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) commences application for the statutory planning approval of two new redevelopment projects in Sham Shui Po to improve the living environment of about 800 residents and further prevent urban decay in the district.

Due to their proximity to each other and that one of them is relatively small in size, the URA proposes to merge the two projects at Lai Chi Kok Road / Kweilin Street and Yee Kuk Street into a Comprehensive Development Area scheme for better planning and land utilization including much needed open space for public enjoyment.

The URA has to obtain consent of the Town Planning Board (TPB) and approval by the Chief Executive in Council for the scheme plan before it proceeds with acquisition of the 160 property interests involved as well as compensation or rehousing for the tenants.

In accordance with section 23 of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, a URA notice announcing the commencement of planning for the projects is published in the Gazette today. Under section 25 of the same ordinance, the URA will submit shortly a development scheme to the TPB for consideration.

Within the next two months, plans delineating the boundaries of the two projects plus a general description will be put on display for public inspection at the Information Centre of the URA headquarters (10/F, Low Block, Grand Millennium Plaza, no. 181 Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan), URA Neighbourhood Centre in Tai Kok Tsui (G/F, Bedford Tower, 68 Bedford Road) and the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Sham Shui Po District Office (G/F, no. 303, Cheung Sha Wan Road).

If approval is eventually granted by the Chief Executive in Council, the URA would proceed with acquisition of the properties and re-housing for the tenants, which are estimated to cost about $550 million at current prices. Adding construction and interest to the budget, the total development cost is estimated to reach $1.1 billion.

The two project sites which cover a total area of about 35,500 square feet are presently occupied by 17 buildings that were mostly built in the 1950's and are in a generally dilapidated condition. It is estimated that there are about 320 households comprising about 800 residents in these buildings but the actual number will be ascertained in a freezing survey conducted by the URA today.

The URA's initial proposal is to redevelop the sites to build about 390 residential units, 50,000 square feet of commercial floor area and 4,300 square feet of open space for public use, subject to the requirements of the TPB.

About 80 URA staff were deployed to conduct the freezing survey today to ascertain the actual number of households and the occupancy status. The URA will arrange briefing sessions shortly to explain to the affected owners and tenants the planning approval procedure and, if approved, the acquisition and compensation arrangements.

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. For enquiries, residents can either visit the URA's Tai Kok Tsui Neighbourhood Centre in person or call the URA's Hotline at 2588 2333.

The two new projects bring to 21 the number of redevelopment projects that the URA has commenced since the beginning of its redevelopment programme in March 2002. These include six undertaken in association with the Hong Kong Housing Society. The total development cost of all projects is estimated at about $16 billion.