The Lands Department has announced that it found “no breach of tenancy terms” at the Sai Kung village house of legislative by-election candidate Paul Zimmerman.
Last month, the incumbent Southern district councillor apologised for having illegal structures on his Clear Water Bay property’s rooftop, including a canopy, and undertook to remove them.
On Tuesday, the Lands Department said in a press release that the Sai Kung District Lands Office had conducted an inspection of the house on February 14.
It said that the property included permitted structures such as a liquefied petroleum gas cylinder storage box, a prefabricated storage cabinet, boundary walls and fences.
“According to the recent site inspections conducted by the [Sai Kung District Lands Office], no breach of tenancy terms has been found.”
Lighting facilities on government land
However, the department found that the house included a small platform – built prior to its 2007 acquisition by Zimmerman – that extended onto government land. Lighting facilities were installed onto the platform.
“According to the existing record… the platform existed as early as 2000, but there is no information indicating by whom and when it was built.”
“The existing owner of the village house originally applied to extend the [tenancy] to include the adjoining platform, but the application was not approved as the area was larger than the [tenancy] granted to the former owner. In other words, the area of the adjoining platform remains as government land.”
The department said that there was reason to believe that the lighting facilities were associated with Zimmerman’s house, because there were no other houses in the vicinity.
It added that it had issued a letter to Zimmerman ordering him to remove the facilities within 14 days.
The revelations on Zimmerman’s property came after Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng was found last month to have illegal structures at her Tuen Mun house, including a basement.
The pro-democracy district councillor is running for the architectural functional constituency seat in the Legislative Council by-elections on March 11.