Court dismisses appeal by owners who failed to comply with removal orders
A spokesman for the Buildings Department (BD) today (July 6) welcomed the dismissal of an appeal to the Court of First Instance of the High Court lodged by 12 owners who had been prosecuted, convicted and fined for failing to comply with removal orders issued by the BD.
BD staff spotted illegal structures on the rooftops of a low-density residential development comprising detached houses and apartments at Hereford Road, Kowloon Tong, in December 2005 while carrying out a large-scale operation against illegal rooftop structures in single-staircase buildings. It was confirmed later that the structures were erected without the prior approval and consent of the Building Authority and therefore contravened Section 14(1) of the Buildings Ordinance, Cap 123 (BO). From February to July 2006, the BD issued removal orders under Section 24(1) of the BO to the 12 owners concerned, requiring them to remove the illegal structures.
As the 12 owners failed to comply with the orders by the specified deadline, prosecutions were instigated against them by the BD. The 12 owners were convicted in August 2011 and fined between $21,800 and $74,100.
Afterwards, the owners filed an appeal to the Court of First Instance of the High Court against the conviction. The appeal was heard in May 2012. In June 2012, a judgment was handed down dismissing the appeal on the grounds that it was not sufficiently justified.
The BD will continue to follow up its enforcement action against the illegal rooftop structures concerned and will consider taking prosecution action again if the owners still fail to comply with the orders to remove the illegal structures.
Ends/Friday, July 6, 2012