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February 15, 2019

Industrial building uses relaxed
The Development Bureau recently announced the relaxation of the waiver application requirement to facilitate non-industrial uses of individual units in existing industrial buildings for certain sectors with immediate effect. The new arrangement implements the initiative announced by the Chief Executive in the 2018 Policy Address to revitalise and optimise the use of industrial buildings. It will help address the demand from a number of sectors, including the arts and cultural sectors, creative industries, and innovation and technology sectors, for safe and lawful use of such buildings, the bureau said.
     The arrangement will also help meet Hong Kong's changing social and economic needs, and make better use of valuable land resources. With immediate effect, industrial building owners can put individual units to five specific non-industrial uses without the need to apply for a temporary waiver or pay a fee. This is on the condition that such uses are permitted under the land use zoning of the sites concerned on the relevant Outline Zoning Plan as "Column 1".
     The five specific non-industrial uses cover art studio; audio-visual recording studio; design and media production; creative industries including design and media production firms, printing and publishing industries, film companies, and film-related trade organisations; and research, design and development centre. To protect public safety, these five categories must not involve any uses or activities that attract members of the public by providing direct services or goods, such as hobby classes, exhibitions and sales activities, or rehearsal facilities for any party other than the operator, owner and tenant of the premises.
     The wavier relaxation is subject to the terms and conditions stipulated in the relevant land lease, the Buildings and Town Planning ordinances and relevant legislation. The arrangement will run for five years and the government will review the need to extend it towards the end of the running period. For details of the new arrangement, visit the websites of the Development Bureau or Lands Department. For application enquiries on individual industrial buildings, please contact the relevant District Lands Office.



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