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Jonnex International Limited v Town Planning Board [2018] HKCFI 62

DATE: 23 Feb 2018

The case concerned a challenge in the Hong Kong Court of First Instance of the Town Planning Board’s decision to refuse an application made under section 12A of the Town Planning Ordinance to amend the Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan OZP by re-zoning a privately owned site, designated open space, to residential use. It was the first section 12A case to come before the Court and the challenge was brought on multiple grounds. Most of the grounds were dismissed but it did succeeded on two of them, both specific to the facts of the case. The first related to certain comments made by a committee member in the private deliberation session which the Court (Au J) held was part of the TPB’s reasons and which the applicant as a matter of procedural fairness should have been given an opportunity to respond to but was not. The second successful ground was the TPB’s reliance, as a reason not to allow the application, on the concern that if the application was permitted it would set an undesirable precedent.

John Litton QC and Kate Olley acted for the Town Planning Board.