Land Use Policy

Volume 57, 30 November 2016, Pages 709-718
Land Use Policy

Repeated planning applications by developers under statutory zoning: A Hong Kong case study of delays and design improvements in private residential development


First study on delays in land supply due to developers.

Original examination of repeated development applications.

Comprehensive survey of CDA development in Hong Kong.


Delays in obtaining development approvals have been advanced as a major reason for shortages if not also increase in cost of housing. This paper is the first systematic attempt to examine whether the apparently long period of time taken to obtaining statutory planning permissions by developers for major development projects under Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) zoning is due to Town Planning Board rejections or developers’ strategy to hoard land or improve building design. Publicly available Town Planning Board data obtained from the Planning Department, property transaction records kept by the Land Registry, property market statistics released by the Rating and Valuation Department and macro-economic data from the Census and Statistics Department are used to find out the number of planning applications and time taken for a real estate project in a CDA zone involving residential components to start construction from the date of the first valid planning application as the means to ascertain if any delay in development was due to business innovation in building design to cater to sustainable development; or strategic behaviour to hoard land.


Delay in development
Housing supply
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