PLC Paper No. LS 94

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Provisional Legislative Council
on 13 February 1998

Legal Service Division Report on
Town Planning (Amendment) Bill 1998

Objects of the Bill

To amend the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131) -

  1. to impose a statutory time limit of nine months from the expiration of the 2 months�period exhibiting a draft plan for the lay-out of any area of Hong Kong (or an additional 3 weeks if an amendment is made) within which the Town Planning Board (懀he Board� is required to submit such draft plan, with or without amendments, and all objections thereto to the Chief Executive in Council for consideration;

  2. to empower the Board to appoint committees to exercise certain powers of the Board in considering objections;

  3. to empower the Board to proceed with the meeting and deal with the objection where the objector or his authorized representative does not attend the meeting.

Povisional LegCo Brief Reference

2.PELB(CR) 184/02(97) issued by the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau on 23 January 1998.

Date of First Reading

3.11 February 1998.


4. It is stated in the Brief that the main purpose of the Bill is to impose a statutory time limit for objections to be resolved. The remaining two objectives are only complementary measures.

5. In July 1996, the Administration published the Town Planning White Bill (懀he White Bill� seeking the views of the public on how the Town Planning Ordinance should be overhauled. The proposed time limit is one of the many changes suggested, and according to the Administration, supported by the public.

6. The Administration expects further discussions are required in considering other controversial issues put forward by the White Bill before a final decision on the overhaul of the existing system of town planning can be made. In the meantime, the Administration proposes to introduce the Bill during this session for reasons set out in paragraph 5 of the PLC Brief.

Public Consultation

7.Consultation has been carried out during the period from July to December 1996. According to the Brief, there was widespread support for the proposed 9-month statutory time limit on dealing with objections to draft plans.

Consultation with the Provisional LegCo Panel

8.No consultation has been carried out with any PLC Panel.


9.Proposal of a similar nature has been made in the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1998 and the Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamations)(Amendment) Bill 1998, both introduced into the PLC on 21 January 1998. A Bills Committee has been formed to study these two Bills and the first meeting will take place at 3:30 p.m. on 13 February 1998. Members may wish to consider whether the same Bills Committee would study the Bill in detail.

10. On the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill, clarification on some technical points are necessary. This will be followed up in the usual manner.

Prepared by

Wong Sze-man, Bernice
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
11 February 1998