For discussion
on 13 January 1999



Subhead 003 Recoverable salaries and allowances
    Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the retention of the following supernumerary posts in the Planning Department from 21 March 1999 to the date of the dissolution of the Land Development Corporation or 30 June 2000, whichever is the earlier -

    1 Government Town Planner
    (D2) ($116,650 - $123,850)

    1 Chief Town Planner
    (D1) ($98,250 - $104,250)


The existing supernumerary posts of one Government Town Planner (GTP) (D2) and one Chief Town Planner (CTP) (D1) will lapse on 21瓱arch 1999. Director of Planning (D of Plan) needs continued directorate support to cope with the heavy workload associated with the urban renewal initiatives and projects of the Land Development Corporation (LDC).


2. We propose to retain the supernumerary posts of one GTP (D2) and one CTP (D1) from 21 March 1999 to the date of the dissolution of LDC or 30獱une 2000, whichever is the earlier.


3. Vide EC(96-97)65, Members approved the creation of the supernumerary posts of one GTP (D2) and one CTP (D1) up to 20 March 1999, designated respectively as the Assistant Director/Urban Renewal (AD/UR) and CTP/LDC. The former heads the Urban Renewal (UR) Division of the Planning Department (Plan D) and the latter the LDC Section set up under the UR Division. The job descriptions of AD/UR and CTP/LDC are at Enclosures� and 2 respectively. Encls.1&2

4. Since its establishment, the UR Division has, through its LDC Section, devoted its efforts largely to co-ordinating and expediting LDC projects. In addition, the division performs functions such as providing planning advice on matters under the Policy Statement "Urban Renewal in Hong Kong" and processing renewal projects proposed by non-LDC agents. An organisation chart of the UR Division is at Enclosure�. A brief summary of the work of the division and its anticipated commitments for the coming 18 months is given in the following paragraphs. Encl. 3

5.The UR痃ivision has undertaken a study for the formulation of the Urban Renewal Strategy which will set out a strategic planning framework for guiding urban renewal efforts in the metro area. This study has examined ways of enhancing the financial viability of urban redevelopment projects. To date, the study has identified sites covering a total area of 76㗖ectares which require renewal or rehabilitation. The study has also identified 200 priority projects for redevelopment. These projects cover 1�00䰄ld buildings accommodating 35�00㗖ouseholds. Currently, the UR痃ivision is embarking on the final stage of the study which involves the formulation of detailed development parameters for major priority urban renewal projects. After completion of the study in early 1999, the UR Division will follow up on the outcome, update the Geographic Information System database, conduct follow-up studies on seven Target Urban Renewal Action Areas identified in the study and undertake a survey for a review of the Urban Renewal Strategy in 2000-2001.

6.On project co-ordination, the UR痃ivision has streamlined the planning procedures for processing LDC projects, with the aim to reduce the average processing time from 44onths to 18 months before submission of proposals and objections to the Executive Council and shorten the time for completion of a redevelopment project from an average of 12 years to six years. The achievement of the time frames calls for close monitoring of progress of various stages of the planning process and requires the continued input of experienced directorate officers in the UR痃ivision.

7.In addition to 13 on-going projects, the LDC submitted 26麖roposed projects in mid-1997 to the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL) for consideration and agreement. These projects are now in various stages of preparation or implementation and require the continued planning input from the UR Division. Staff will face increased pressure when LDC re-develop sites with a lesser degree of financial viability or those with environmental or land-use complications. Many of these schemes require the involvement of professional officers at senior and directorate levels.

8.Subject to Members' approval, we plan to establish the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in late 1999/early 2000 to succeed the LDC. We are now drawing up the proposed terms of reference, powers and operational guidelines. We anticipate that in this interim period, the UR Division will have to continue to provide professional planning input and technical advice to SPEL on the establishment of the proposed URA and on the implementation of the recommendations of the Urban Renewal Strategy.

9.In view of these commitments, we consider that there is a need to continue the tenure of the existing supernumerary posts of one GTP (D2) and one CTP (D1) to lead the UR Division and its LDC Section. We therefore propose their retention from 21瓱arch�999 until the date of succession of LDC by the proposed URA or until 30 June 2000, whichever is the earlier. We expect that upon the expiry of the extended tenure, new institutional arrangements on the establishment of the proposed URA will come into effect. We shall review the need for directorate support when the date of the establishment of the proposed URA is determined.

10.To provide professional and secretarial support to the UR Division, we will retain the existing 19 posts of two Senior Town Planners, five Town Planners, six technical staff, four clerical and two secretarial staff currently funded by LDC.


11.The notional annual salary cost of the proposal at mid-point is $2,656,200. The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including staff on-costs, is $4,697,364.

12.In addition, this proposal will necessitate the retention of 19慙on-directorate posts at a notional annual mid-point salary cost of $7,221,270 and a full annual average staff cost of $13,004,016.

13.We shall recover the full staff costs of the proposed retention of the GTP (D2) and CTP (D1) posts and 19 non-directorate staff under the UR Division from LDC, which has agreed to this funding arrangement.


14.In 1996, SPEL completed a review of the urban renewal policy and issued a Policy Statement. The review set out a package of short-term and long-term measures to facilitate and speed up urban renewal. Most of these measures and changes concern the LDC, which plays a major role in this process through its statutory powers to implement development schemes and proposals and negotiate with affected owners regarding the purchase of properties identified for redevelopment. Following the issue of the Policy Statement, we set up the UR Division in Plan D in March 1997 to handle all planning-related urban renewal matters.


15.The Civil Service Bureau supports the retention of the posts until the dissolution of the Land Development Corporation or 30 June 2000, whichever is the earlier, on the understanding that the Administration will review the continued need for the posts in the light of the establishment of the URA.


16.As we propose to retain the posts of one GTP and one CTP on a supernumerary basis, we will report the arrangement, if approved, to the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service in accordance with the agreed procedure.


Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau
January 1999

Enclosure 1 to EC(98-99)21

Job Description
Assistant Director of Planning/Urban Renewal

Rank : Government Town Planner (D2)

Aim of the Job -

As head of the Urban Renewal Division, AD/UR is responsible to Deputy Director of Planning/District (D3) for the LDC Section and UR Section on urban renewal matters.

Main Duties and Responsibilities - 1.liaising with relevant bureaux and directorate staff in Government departments and agencies on all urban renewal related matters including the establishment of the URA;

2.providing expert advice on the preparation of studies to serve as the basis for the formulation of urban renewal strategy;

3.ensuring that territorial and sub-regional planning objectives have been incorporated into urban renewal proposals;

4.devising planning mechanisms to facilitate implementation of LDC projects within the statutory planning framework and relevant legislation;

5.advising LDC on the acceptability of planning parameters including assessment on planning gains relating to LDC's urban renewal efforts;

6.resolving promptly land use and design problems/conflicts arising from LDC's projects among development agencies/departments and exploring measures to achieve financial viability of development schemes/proposals including the identification of sites suitable for the linked site approach;

7.monitoring planning inputs and setting out the pros and cons of LDC schemes/proposals for the consideration of the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands; the provision of infrastructure and government, institution or community facilities arising from LDC's projects;

9.conducting Liaison Meetings with LDC which are attended by the Director, Planning Division of LDC and his senior staff;

10.conducting/attending meetings and advising on LDC's consultancy studies; and

11.providing professional advice to the Planning Committee and the Managing Board of LDC.

Enclosure 2 to EC(98-99)21

Job Description
Chief Town Planner/Land Development Corporation

Rank:Chief Town Planner (D1)

Aim of the Job -

As head of the LDC Section, CTP/LDC is responsible to Assistant Director of Planning/Urban Renewal (D2) for urban renewal matters related to LDC and supervises a dedicated team of non-directorate professional as well as technical staff.

Main Duties and Responsibilities -

1.preparation of the urban renewal strategy studies;

2.advising the identification and prioritisation of urban renewal projects for LDC/future URA;

3.advising the definition of boundaries and assessment on LDC development schemes and development proposals;

4.preparation of planning briefs for LDC projects;

5.setting out the pros and cons of draft development scheme plans for consideration by the Town Planning Board;

6.briefing the affected groups and concerned organisations on the planning aspect of LDC's urban renewal projects;

7.commenting on the objections to LDC's draft development scheme plans under the Town Planning Ordinance and summarising the objections to the Chief Executive in Council;

8.advising LDC on the preparation and subsequent amendments of planning applications to the Town Planning Board; and briefing District Boards, Municipal Councils and their sub-committees, and other relevant bodies on LDC projects;

10.assisting AD/UR in co-ordinating the provision of infrastructure and government, institution or community facilities within LDC's development schemes and development proposals;

11.establishing an information system to facilitate LDC's urban renewal activities; and

12.vetting the technical submissions screened by professional staff of the LDC Section.

Enclosure 3 to EC(98-99)21