Hong Kong 2003
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Land, Public Works and Utilities
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District Planning

Development projects are implemented in accordance with statutory or departmental district plans. These plans aim to regulate and provide guidance to development in terms of land use, building density and development characteristics, and to ensure that they are in line with planning objectives of the districts.

Statutory Planning

The Town Planning Board is set up under the Town Planning Ordinance to prepare statutory plans to show the broad land use framework of specific areas, including major roads and other transport systems, and provide statutory planning controls through land use zoning and specification of development parameters. Two types of statutory plans are prepared: outline zoning plans (OZPs) and development permission area (DPA) plans.

DPA plans are similar to OZPs but they are interim plans covering rural areas of the New Territories and would be eventually replaced by OZPs. Development scheme plans (DSPs) prepared by the former Land Development Corporation and its successor, the Urban Renewal Authority, also require approval by the board.

In 2003, two new OZPs and one new URA DSP were published by the board. The board also amended 60 statutory plans. At year-end, there were 105 OZPs, two DPA plans, eight LDC DSPs and one URA DSP.

Under the Town Planning Ordinance, any person affected by statutory plans on exhibition for public inspection, including DSPs, may lodge objections with the board. In 2003, there were 94 objections. The board gave preliminary consideration to 87 objections and further consideration to 80 objections (including those brought forward from previous years). Draft plans, together with objections not withdrawn and amendments made to meet objections, will be submitted to the Chief Executive in Council (CE in C) for approval. In 2003, 33 statutory plans were submitted to the CE in C for approval. The CE in C also referred 70 approved plans and one draft plan back to the board for amendment.

A set of notes is attached to each statutory plan, indicating the uses in particular zones that are always permitted and those uses for which the board's permission must be sought. In 2003, the board considered 883 applications for planning permission and reviewed its decisions on 139 planning applications.

Applicants who are aggrieved by the decisions of the board on review may lodge appeals with the independent Town Planning Appeal Board. The Appeal Board heard eight cases in 2003: seven were dismissed and one was allowed.

The Town Planning Board also promulgates guidelines for applications for developments in areas covered by statutory plans. In 2003, it promulgated seven sets of revised guidelines. Altogether, 21 sets of guidelines were in force.

Departmental Plans

Apart from statutory plans, the Planning Department prepares departmental outline development plans (ODPs) and layout plans (LPs) for individual districts or planning areas to show the planned land uses, development restrictions and transport networks in greater detail. There were 77 ODPs and 299 LPs covering Hong Kong in 2003.

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