Paper for the Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Welfare Services
Review of community centres and sites for development of community centre facilities to make available premises and land for welfare services
In 1989, due to the low utilization of some community halls (CHs), a moratorium was imposed on the development of new community centres and halls pending a review of the management and planning standards. The review was completed in February 1996. It was proposed that the concept of a fixed welfare block should be dispensed with and the extent of floorspace for social welfare facilities would be determined on a project by project basis. CHs should as far as possible be provided as part of integrated developments and all future CH developments should be justified on their individual merits. On this basis, the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) for CHs will be amended accordingly.
Review of sites
2. Consequent upon the HKPSG review, in early 1997, Home Affairs Department (HAD) began a review of the 67 sites reserved or available for CHs. HAD consulted District Officers on their district community development needs for each of the sites. Director of Home Affairs (DHA) held discussions with Government Property Administrator (GPA) on the release or development of these sites. A number of the sites would be released for other uses, whilst the remainder of the sites would have development proposals put forward. GPA was tasked with ensuring optimum site utilization and cases of dispute or underutilization would be referred to the Property Strategy Group (PSG) chaired by the Secretary for the Treasury for decision. To facilitate discussion and decision, DHA has become a member of the PSG.
3. The review of CH sites has concluded that about half of the 67 sites can either be immediately released for other proposals or could be released, subject to the provision of a CH at an alternative Government complex in the locality. The other half of the sites are to be pursued with compatible joint-users.
4. In addition to the review of the reserved sites, HAD is reviewing the existing stock of CHs to ascertain whether improvement or redevelopment should be initiated. DHA is liaising with GPA on full site utilization of the existing CHs including proposals for redevelopment as joint-use Government complexes. One CH (the Chai Wan Community Centre) already has a redevelopment proposal agreed by the PSG and several others are under active consideration prior to proposals being put to the PSG.
5. We will be pleased to discuss with members the content of this paper.
Home Affairs Department