2011 Jan 01
Block Crown Lease (Cheung Chau) Ordinance
Cheung Chau land titles went through dramatic change overnight in July 1995.
In a written reply by then Secretary for Development, Mrs. Carrie Lam, to query from Mr. Chim Pui Chung, Legislative Councillor of 2011, the background and history of Wong Wai Tsak Tong losing grip of Cheung Chau is detailed by Mrs Lam.
“In the run-up to 1997 when Hong Kong was about to be returned to mainland China by the British, then Hong Kong Colonial Government’s Legislative Council, in 1995, passed a private member’s bill initiated by, Mr. Andrew Wong, Legislative Councillor at the time.
This private bill is called Block Crown Lease (Cheung Chau) Ordinance, which will terminate the Wong Wai Tsak Tong (WWTT) ownership of 90% of land in Cheung Chau and passed the land titles to Tong’s individual sub-lessees.
According to Mrs. Lam, the ownership termination arises out of disputes around 1980’s and early 1990’s between Wong Wai Tsak Tong and its sub-lessees, over land titles, renewal of sub-leases, payment of Government rent and redevelopment of land.
The Government attempted to intervene for mediation but failed.
Wong Wai Tsak Tong of Cheung Chau was first granted land on Cheung Chau in the form of Block Crown Lease dating back to year 1905, together with subsequent land grants, Wong Wai Tsak Tong at one point owned 90% of land on Cheung Chau.
The Tong subleased its land to sub-lessees in a 5-year term format, renewable on same terms until the end of Block Crown Lease.
Wong Wai Tsak Tong was entitled to compensation by Hong Kong Government under the Block Crown Lease (Cheung Chau) Ordinance.
WWTT reached an out of court settlement agreement with Government for an amount of HK$20 million in 2004, which takes no account of the size of land and no land resumption proceeding involved.”
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