The Small House Policy

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I. Introduction

Recent release of draft Outline Zone Plan in Hoi Ha, Bak Lap and So Lo Pun has triggered strong opposition by the wider community. Coupled with the shortage of housing supply and stronger public awareness of conservation, the public has associated this plan with injustice Small house Policy, which provides opportunity for flagrant small house invasion in the country park enclaves and promote black market of small houses. In regard to this, I would like to point out some critical problems in the Small House Policy that causes conflicting views between different stakeholders. I would also propose a few recommendations regarding to these critical problems.

II. Two Problems associated with Small House Policy

Insufficient statutory planning control over small house development in rural New Territories has result in small house proliferation and illegal land activities (Hopkinson, 2003). Take country park enclaves as examples, according to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (2011), only 23 country park enclaves (721 hectares) out of 77 (1355 hectares) are covered by Outline Zoning Plans. This illustrates that here are still a significant portion of country park enclaves not covered by zoning protection.

In addition, the mechanism of small house application is prone to corruption and abuse. First, village representatives have the sole power of verification of indigenous people, while neither the Town Planning Board nor other government authorities has an archive of the indigenous people (Audit Commission, 2002). It provides an opportunity for illegal transfer of interest between village representatives and small house beneficiaries, and exaggeration of small house demand. Second, current Polic...

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...ructions, while census on indigenous people and abolishment of right to transfer small house property can effectively halt the abuse of Small House Policy for profit making.

Works Cited

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department [ACFD]. (2011). Review of

the Criteria for Designing Country Parks and Proposed Measures for

Protecting Country Park Enclaves. Working Paper: WP/CMPB/6/2011.

Country and Marine Parks Board. Retrieved from http://www.afcd.gov.hk

/english/aboutus/abt_adv/files/common/WP_CMPB_6_2011eng.pdf

Audit Commission. (2002). Audit Report No. 39. Chapter 8. Small House grants in

the New Territories. Retrieved from http://www.aud.gov.hk/pdf_e/

e39ch08.pdf.

Hopkinson L. and Lao M.L. (2003). Rethinking the Small House Policy. Civic Exchange.

Lao M.L. (2013). The Small House Policy II: An Update. Civic Exchange.
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