After more than a year’s public consultation, the board advised the Government not to use public funds to purchase or resume privately owned historic buildings as there are diverse views in the community.
It recommends the Government offer prevailing incentives such as a relaxation of plot ratio and land exchange to encourage private owners to preserve, revitalise and maintain their historic buildings in a timely manner.
However, public access to historic buildings should not be a prerequisite for receiving financial assistance for maintenance and repair from the public coffer to respect private property rights.
The board also suggests setting up a dedicated fund on the conservation of built heritage for public education and academic research, as well as setting up a statutory grading system in the longer run for protection of graded buildings while safeguarding private property rights.
Mr Chan said different departments will thoroughly consider and follow up on the board’s recommendations and the bureau will respond at an appropriate time.