Hong Kong – Consent given to resume pile foundation works near Yuen Long Station

Consent given to resume pile foundation works near Yuen Long Station

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     A Government spokesman said today (March 23) that consent has been given to resume the pile foundation works of a private development project (Grand YOHO 3) near MTR Yuen Long Station.

 

     The spokesman said that the acceptable limit of the settlement monitoring checkpoints installed at two viaduct piers near MTR Yuen Long Station was 20 millimetres. The readings recorded reached 15mm to 18mm in September 2013. Although these values did not exceed the acceptable limit and there was no structural safety concern on the two piers, the pile foundation works of the above private development were suspended in September 2013 having regard to the settlement recorded and upon request by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL).

 

     After suspension of the works, the Buildings Department (BD) has continued to closely monitor the changes in the settlement levels. The MTRCL has also been closely monitoring the structure of the viaduct piers and tracks to ensure railway safety has not been affected. To alleviate the extent of settlement of the two affected piers, the MTRCL subsequently submitted a preventive and strengthening works proposal to the BD, and obtained the BD’s acceptance for the proposed works. The proposed grouting and underpinning works have been carried out. According to the monitoring records, the settlement of the two piers has been reduced to 12mm to 13mm. 

 

     The registered building professional concerned for the private development has submitted to the BD the amendment plans for the foundation works and has proposed suitable mitigation measures to ensure that structural safety of the piers and the nearby railway facilities would not be affected by the resumption of works. The BD has imposed extra conditions when approving the amendment plans, requiring implementation of a series of measures to enhance site supervision and the safety of works when carrying out the remaining works. The registered building professional then requested resumption of the suspended works.

 

     The BD has confirmed the structural safety of the railway facilities concerned, and the MTRCL has confirmed that the resumption of works would not affect the structural safety of the railway facilities and safe operation of the railway. The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has also confirmed that the MTRCL has put in place stringent monitoring measures to ensure the safety of railway operation.

 

     Having considered the above advice and the mitigation measures proposed by the registered building professional concerned, the request for resumption of works was accepted today and the suspended building works will resume on March 30.

 

     “The BD, the EMSD and the MTRCL will continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure the structural safety of the railway facilities and safe operation of the railway,” the spokesman said.

Hong Kong – Two co-owners given suspended jail sentence for not complying with removal order

Two co-owners given suspended jail sentence for not complying with removal order

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     Two co-owners were sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts last week for failing to comply with a removal order issued under the Buildings Ordinance (BO) (Cap. 123).



     The order involved an unauthorised rooftop structure of about 57 square metres at a composite building on Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po. As the unauthorised building works (UBWs) were carried out without prior approval and consent from the Buildings Department (BD), a removal order was served on the owners under section 24(1) of the BO.



     Since the owners failed to comply with the removal order, they were prosecuted by the BD and were sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months upon conviction by the court on December 22.



     A spokesman for the BD said today (December 29), “UBWs may adversely affect the structural and fire safety of a building, leading to serious consequences. Owners must comply with the removal orders without delay. The BD will continue to take enforcement action against owners who have failed to comply with the removal orders (including instigation of prosecution) so as to ensure building safety.”



     Failure to comply with a removal order without reasonable excuse is a serious offence under the BO. The maximum penalty upon conviction is one year’s imprisonment and a fine of $200,000, and a further fine of $20,000 for each day that the offence continues.