When private land is acquired in the public interest, usually to implement
public works projects, it may be acquired either by negotiation or by
resumption under the relevant ordinances, which provide for payment of
compensation based on the value of the property and for business loss,
at the date of acquisition. If agreement cannot be reached on the amount
of compensation, either party can refer the claim to the Lands Tribunal
for adjudication. Apart from statutory compensation, there is an alternative
system of ex gratia zonal compensation to provide a simplified
compensation procedure and early payments relating to land resumption
in the New Territories.
A total of 513 066 square metres of private
land, comprising 511 874 square metres of agricultural land
and 1 192 square metres of building land, were acquired in
2003. Most of the acquired area was to provide land for implementation
of road improvement works and river training projects. The improvement
works included the construction of roads for the Deep Bay Link and the
widening of Yuen Long Highway between Lam Tei and the Shap Pat Heung Interchange.
The river training projects included the rehabilitation works at Ping
Yuen River, the main drainage channels for the Tin Tsuen Channel and drainage
improvement works for Pat Heung in the Yuen Long District.
More than $1.434 billion was paid out territory-wide
in compensation payments in 2003.
The Lands Department was also involved in the resumption
of land for implementation of urban renewal projects undertaken by the
Urban Renewal Authority. During the year, statutory compensation totalling
$65 million was paid to owners of 60 resumed properties affected by 11
urban renewal projects in Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Sham Shui Po, Wan Chai,
Kennedy Town, Tsuen Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui.
The Lands Department continued to resume and clear
land for implementation of railway projects. By year-end, $131 million
was paid out in respect of the West Rail project and $65 million for the
KCR East Rail extensions which included the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and
the extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui.