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Chapter 2 : Residential Densities

  1. Residential density is a quantitative measure of the intensity with which land is occupied by either development or population. The relative distribution of population has major implications for the provision of public facilities, such as transport, utilities and social infrastructure.

  2. The maximum domestic plot ratios applicable to all residential developments in different areas are summarized in the following tables: 



Table 1: Main Urban Areas

Density Zone

Type of Area

Location

Maximm Domestic Plot Ratio

Notes

R1

Existing Development Area Hong Kong Island 8/9/10 (depends on Site Class A, B and C respectively) (i) (ii)
Kowloon & New Kowloon 7.5 (according to statutory town plans and site class is not relevant) (iii) (iv)
Tsuen Wan New Town (covers Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung & Tsing Yi Island) 8 (ii) (v)

New Development Area and Comprehensive Development Area 6.5 (vi) (vii)
R2 6 (viii) (ix)
R3 3.6 (viii) (ix)
Notes :

General

-
The Table only gives an indication of the maximum plot ratio which may be allowed for a particular area.  However, where there are significant constraints on development capacity (such as transport or infrastructure limitations, environmental, topographical or geotechnical conditions,or heritage and nature conservation), other planning principles and urban design considerations (including local character and setting, building height profile and massing of the neighbourhood, air ventilation and visual impacts on the surroundings, protection of important physical features such as ridgelines), or special design considerations, a lower plot ratio may be specified when considered appropriate and possible.


- In some areas, maximum plot ratios may not be achievable due to Airport Height Restrictions.

(i)
Maximum domestic plot ratio of 8, 9 and 10 depends on Site Class A, B and C respectively.

(ii)
If there is non-domestic floorspace, maximum domestic plot ratio will be reduced according to the provisions of the B(P)R composite building formula.


(iii)
The maximum domestic plot ratio is in accordance with those stipulated on statutory town plans and site class is not relevant.


(iv)
If there is non-domestic floorspace with a plot ratio in excess of 1.5, maximum domestic plot ratio will be reduced by the amount of this excess.


(v)
For this first generation New Towns (i.e. Tuen Mun, Sha Tin, Fanling/Sheung Shui, Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tsuen Wan), lease modifications for higher plot ratios than those applicable prior to September 1981 should be permitted only if the proposed development forms the whole or a substantial part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan prepared or approved by the planning authority.


(vi)
Higher maximum domestic plot ratios may be permitted in Comprehensive Development Areas having regard to local circumstances, such as infrastructure capacities. However, for New Development Area and CDA for Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung & Tsing Yi Island, the maximum plot ratio is normally 5.


(vii)
Any non-domestic plot ratio component may be in addition to the domestic plot ratio, up to the maximum permitted by the B(P)R composite building formula or those of the statutory town plans.


(viii)
In existing development areas this maximum domestic plot ratio can only be imposed in the case of lease modifications or Section 16 applications, unless it is incorporated in the statutory town plans.


(ix)
In Special Control Areas, maximum domestic plot ratio may be further limited.


Table 2 : New Towns (excluding Tsuen Wan)

Residential density zone

Maximum domestic plot ratio

R1

8 (i) (ii) (iii)

R2

5

R3

3.6

R4 (iv)

0.8

Notes :

General

-
The Table only gives an indication of the maximum plot ratio which may be allowed for a particular area.  However, where there are significant constraints on development capacity (such as transport or infrastructure limitations, environmental, topographical or geotechnical conditions, or heritage and nature  conservation), other planning principles and urban design considerations (including local character and setting, building height profile and massing of the neighbourhood, air ventilation and visual impacts on the surroundings, protection of important physical features such as ridgelines), or special design considerations, a lower plot ratio may be specified when considered appropriate and possible.



(i)
Domestic plot ratio 8 should only be permitted where there are no infrastructure constraints, e.g. close to high capacity transport systems. Elsewhere, the plot ratio should be determined according to local circumstances.  A maximum permitted plot ratio for R1 in most New Towns is 6, where infrastructural capacity and planning considerations permit.


(ii)
In the first generation New Towns (i.e. Tuen Mun, Sha Tin, Fanling/Sheung Shui, Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tsuen Wan), lease modifications for higher plot ratios than those applicable prior to September 1981 should be permitted only if the proposed development forms the whole or a substantial part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan prepared or approved by the planning authority.


(iii)
If there is non-domestic floorspace, maximum domestic plot ratio will be reduced according to the provisions of the B(P)R composite building formula.


(iv)
Sites in New Towns should only be designated R4 if there are special justifications such as severe geotechnical or infrastructural constraints.


Table 3 : Rural Areas

Density Zone Maximum Domestic Plot Ratio (i) Maximum Development Site Ratio (ii) Typical Total No. of Storeys Locational Criteria
RR1 3.6 - 12 Commercial Centres of Rural Townships.
RR2

2.1

 

- 6 Areas within Rural Townships lying outside the commercial centre, and in other significant rural development areas served by medium capacity public transport, such as light rail systems.
RR3 - 0.75 3 over car port Peripheral parts of Rural Townships or other rural developments areas, or in locations away from existing settlements but with adequate infrastructure and no major landscape or environmental constraints.
RR4 - 0.4 3 including car port Similar locations to RR3 but where development intensity is restricted by infrastructure or landscape constraints.
RR5 - 0.2 2 over car port Replacements for temporary structures in areas requiring upgrading.
Villages 3.0 (iii) - 3 Within the defined envelope of recognized villages.
Notes :

General

-
The Table only gives an indication of the maximum plot ratio which may be allowed for a particular area. However, where there are significant constraints on development capacity (such as transport or infrastructure limitations, environmental, topographical or geotechnical conditions or heritage and nature conservation), other planning principles and urban design considerations (including local character and setting, building height profile and massing of the neighbourhood, air ventilation and visual impacts on the surroundings, protection of important physical features such as ridgelines), or special design considerations, a lower plot ratio may be specified when considered appropriate and possible. 



(i)
Domestic plot ratio is applied to the Net Site Area (i.e. excluding roads and zoned open space).

(ii)
Development site ratio is applied to the whole site including those parts to be devoted to roads and open space, but excluding slopes.

(iii)
New Territories Exempted House, built on a site area of 65.03m2.

 

 

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 Last revision date : July 2016