Hong Kong will investigate whether owners at a luxury residential housing estate built unauthorized structures and will prosecute lawbreakers, the city’s leader John Lee said.
(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong will investigate whether owners at a luxury residential housing estate built unauthorized structures and will prosecute lawbreakers, the city’s leader John Lee said.
“We are going to take action against unauthorized buildings works,” Lee said at a weekly press briefing Tuesday. “Some of the houses in this estate are now at risk.”
Lee’s comments came after a landslide below several townhouses at Redhill Peninsula drew attention to possible illegal excavation, with local media reporting many buildings on the estate have been modified and occupy government land.
Redhill Penisula is a luxury development comprising dozens of townhouses in Tai Tam on the south side of Hong Kong island, which were built in the early 1990s. A 2,600 square foot townhouse is currently on the market for HK$90 million ($11.5 million).
The landslide occurred after the city received record rainfall last week. More than 600 mm was reported over much of Hong Kong island in 24 hours, equal to a quarter of the city’s typical annual rainfall, according to the observatory.
Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn said Sunday that initial evidence showed some leases were breached and there was also unlawful occupation.
“Those breaking the law will be prosecuted,” Lee said at Tuesday’s press briefing.
Illegal structures are a highly talked-about topic in Hong Kong, with the wealthy and government officials sometimes involved in related controversies. In general, unauthorized building works involve any additions or alterations made to the interior or exterior without prior approval of the Building Authority.
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