Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
The Buildings Department (BD) has introduced a package of
measures to promote a quality and sustainable built environment.
These measures include, amongst other things, Gross Floor Area
In planning approvals, the BD has the discretion to grant
concession by exempting certain floor areas from the GFA
calculations. The BD may also grant concession in the form of
additional plot ratio and permitted site coverage in exchange for
dedication of land or area for the purpose of public passage or
The plot ratio of a building is obtained by dividing the gross
GFA of the building by the area of the site on which the building
is erected and is dependent on the building height. In essence, the
plot ratio increases with the increase of the building height.
The permitted site coverage denotes the maximum percentage of
the site area that can be covered by the building and is dependent
on the building height. In essence, the permitted site coverage
decreases with the increase of the building height.
Upon the compliance of the criterion and requirements (both
general and specific) that are imposed for the granting of GFA
concessions, green/amenity features and non-mandatory/non-essential
plant rooms and services maybe exempted or disregarded from GFA
and/or site coverage calculations in new building developments.
These areas include: car park; loading or unloading area for motor
vehicles; refuse storage chamber; lift machine room; access
facility for telecommunications and broadcasting services; etc.
The BD may accept an application for dedication if the proposal
will: (a) alleviate congestion problems; (b) provide a readily
accessible linkage that will significantly enhance public safety
and convenience; (c) improve road safety; or (d) provide suitable
greenery compatible with the usage of the proposed public passage.
The application will need to demonstrate that there is a genuine
public need for the dedication and that the dedication is
reasonable to meet that need. BD will generally exempt the
dedicated land or area from GFA calculations. However, bonus plot
ratio and site coverage will only be allowed if the government
considers such dedication essential. Where the dedicated area
(within a building) serves both the public and the users of the
building, the BD will assess the amount of exempted GFA and/or
bonus GFA by taking into account the proportion of traffic
generated by the public and the users of the building.
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This article provides information and comments on legal
issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not
intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific
legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters
discussed herein. Please also read the JSM legal publications
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The process for obtaining planning permission for development of property in the Cayman Islands has been updated as a result of the latest revision of the Development and Planning Law and accompanying regulations (July 2015).
In principle, when the parties agree to arbitrate, they shall be
bound by that agreement. It should therefore follow that when a
party initiates arbitration proceedings, the other party - the
respondent – will avail itself of the opportunity to present
its case and participate in the proceedings.
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