Community & Education Hong Kong

Rooftop owned by Antiquities Advisory Board chairman illegally sold as ‘hanging gardens’

An industrial building rooftop owned by the head of a government body was found to have illegally sold 20 subdivided units for farming purposes, according to Ming Pao.

Andrew Lam Siu-lo, the chair of the Antiquities Advisory Board, owned the Wang Cheng Industrial Building in Tuen Mun, which the Lands Department found was being used for farming.

The department said using the rooftop for farming would violate the provision of limiting industrial buildings to commercial use only and have sent a letter to the building’s owner.

Wang Cheung Industrial Building

Wang Cheung Industrial Building. Photo: Google Maps.

Lam said that he signed a contract with the buyer, Hui Oi-kwan for the entirety of the rooftop, and all renovations were conducted by the buyer himself. He said Hui’s act of selling subdivided units may constitute a breach of agreement, and admitted that he had the responsibility to request Hui to restore the rooftop to its original state.

The rooftop of Wang Cheung Industrial Building, the said property, is divided into 20 units with areas ranging from 420 to 765 square feet. The units were sold at prices ranging from HK$190,000 to $310,000. A three-inch thick concrete floor was laid for the units, while each subdivided area was separated by metal columns affixed to a 1-inch tall concrete wall. Water and electrical appliances were in place for all units, and real estate agents said fences would be installed shortly.

Apart from the rooftop, there are also suspected unauthorised alterations and additions to the top floor of the industrial building. The Fire Services Department have referred the case to the Buildings Department for follow-up.

Lam said that the top-floor renovations were also carried out by Hui. Cyd Ho Sau-lan, Labour Party legislative councillor, said that Lam should explain whether he was informed of the building’s situation from the beginning, and should terminate their contract if any further issues arise.

Lam is an experienced urban town planner, and is also Chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Remuneration Committee. He previously acted as executive director of the Urban Renewal Authority.

Rooftop owned by Antiquities Advisory Board chairman illegally sold as 'hanging gardens'