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Letter: How Hong Kong can tackle illegal structures quickly and cost-effectively

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LettersHow Hong Kong can crack down on illegal structures quickly and cost-effectively

Readers discuss cases of unauthorised construction at a luxury residential estate, and unsafe driving on the city’s roadsHong Kong housingLettersPublished: 11:30am, 27 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Feel strongly about these letters, or any other aspects of the news? Share your views by emailing us your Letter to the Editor at [email protected] or filling in this Google form. Submissions should not exceed 400 words, and must include your full name and address, plus a phone number for verification.The recent torrential rain exposed the serious, long-standing and potentially life-threatening problem of unauthorised building works in Hong Kong. The cliffside houses at Redhill Peninsula are just the tip of the iceberg.Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn Hon-ho inherited this problem from her predecessors, including Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor when she was secretary for development. Even the able and efficient Mrs Lam failed to solve this problem, despite her pledge to strictly enforce the law, including in the New Territories.

A Buildings Department surveyor has said the department has limited resources and Linn has said they need to prioritise enforcement measures. Thus, it may actually be a lot more efficient and cost-effective for the government to simply embark upon a campaign for voluntary identification and rectification of unauthorised building works and illegal land use.

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