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Government Land Control

General Information

Lands Department (LandsD) is in general responsible for the management and control of unallocated and unleased Government land which include prevention, detection and removal of any unlawful occupation on it.

The Director of Lands has been vested with the authority under the various provisions of the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Chapter 28) ("the Ordinance") for the management and administration of Government land.

In case Government land is found to have been unlawfully occupied, LandsD will take enforcement action in accordance with the Ordinance. It is an offence when any person occupying Government land, otherwise than under permission from the Authority, does not cease the occupation as required by a notice under the Ordinance. Any property or structure on the occupied Government land may be demolished and removed by the Government. The occupier may be prosecuted.

It is also an offence in law when any person removes earth, turf or stone from Government land or excavates in Government land without permit issued by the Authority under the Ordinance. The offender may be prosecuted.

To increase the deterrent effect against the unlawful occupation of Government land, the Government amended the Ordinance in 2015 to increase the penalties for offences relating to unlawful occupation of Government land. LandsD has also tightened the criteria for processing applications for regularisation of unlawful occupation to the effect that all unlawful occupations commencing on or after 28 March 2017 would no longer be eligible to apply for regularisation and would be subject to land control actions. In mid-2019, LandsD also set up the Special Duties Task Force to step up the enforcement actions against serious cases of unlawful occupation of Government land.

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