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Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Leung and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council on November 20:
The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines stipulate that a standard parking space for private cars shall be 5 metres (m) in length, 2.5 m in width and 2.4 m in height. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the current respective numbers of private car parking spaces in private and public car parks in Hong Kong;
(b) whether the authorities will, before the commissioning of car parking facilities, measure the dimensions of private car parking spaces in such facilities to see if the aforesaid standard has been complied with; whether the authorities regularly send officers to inspect private and public car parks to count the number of private car parking spaces which meet the aforesaid standard; and
(c) when private car parking spaces not meeting the aforesaid standard are found, whether the authorities will require the owners of the car parks concerned to carry out improvements and impose punishment on those owners who refuse to carry out improvements; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
When examining new development proposals, the Transport Department (TD) under the Transport and Housing Bureau will advise on the number of parking spaces, taking into account the supply and demand of parking spaces as well as the traffic situation in the district concerned. Planning details will then be implemented by the departments under the Development Bureau. For example, the Buildings Department (BD) is responsible for monitoring the design, planning and construction of private buildings and related works in accordance with the Buildings Ordinance (Ordinance), with a view to ensuring the compliance of relevant safety and health standards. If limitations on the number and dimensions of parking spaces are stipulated in the lease conditions, the developers concerned have to apply for approval from the Lands Department (LandsD) before making any changes.
Regarding private car parking spaces inside private buildings, the BD is responsible for vetting building plans of the buildings concerned and issuing occupation permits. The car parking requirements as stated in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) are used as reference only. Appropriate adjustments can be made for individual locations in case where the requirements cannot be complied with due to physical constraints and other considerations, provided that building and traffic safety will not be compromised.
Car parks in Hong Kong are generally either privately or publicly operated. Private car parks include those inside private premises mainly for use by eligible persons and visitors. Public car parks are those available for use by the public.
My reply to the various parts of the Hon Andrew Leung’s question, after consulting the Development Bureau, is as follows:
(a) Currently, the numbers of private car parking spaces in private and public car parks (excluding roadside parking spaces) are about 450 000 and 180 000 respectively.
(b) Public car parks managed by the TD are designed and constructed in accordance with either the building standards in practice at that time or the HKPSG after they went in force. As for private car parks and privately operated public car parks, authorised persons are responsible for ensuring that the construction works are in compliance with the requirements of the Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation. To properly designing private car parks, authorised persons should make reference to the HKPSG, which specify guidelines on private car parking spaces, and the Practice Notes for Authorised Persons, Registered Structural Engineers and Registered Geotechnical Engineers promulgated by the BD. Upon receipt of an application for the certificate of completion of building works and occupation permit, officers of the BD will carry out general site inspection in accordance with established procedures, and vet the supporting documents submitted as required by the Ordinance. If it is confirmed that the building concerned complies with relevant requirements of the Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation, an occupation permit will be issued by the BD. Generally speaking, while officers of the BD will conduct random checks to measure the major dimensions of the newly completed building to verify whether they are completed in accordance with the approved plans, no measurement of the parking spaces will be undertaken. If the dimensions of car parking spaces are stipulated in the relevant lease conditions, LandsD will, when processing application for issue of Certificate of Compliance, conduct on-the-spot random checking on the dimensions of the parking spaces, before the issuance of the Certificate.
(c) Investigations will be carried out by the BD upon receipt of reports on contraventions of the Ordinance in car parks within private buildings that have been issued occupation permits. If it is confirmed that there are unauthorised building works or change of use in the car parking spaces concerned, the BD will take follow-up actions according to the provisions of the Ordinance and the prevailing enforcement policy. If complaints or referrals regarding non-compliance of car parking spaces with the relevant lease conditions are received, LandsD will, after confirmation of the breach of such conditions, take appropriate lease enforcement actions.