The government Wednesday announced the annulment of the land concession of a long-undeveloped plot of land east of the entrance to the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge at the northern coast of Taipa, which was initially slated for an “Ocean World” theme park project when its land concession was granted over two decades ago.
Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario announced the annulment in an executive order published in the Official Gazette (BO).
Civic leaders and lawmakers had slammed the government for its slow progress in annulling the plot’s land concession.
According to yesterday’s executive order, the land concession of the plot covering an area of 134,891 square metres was granted in March 1997 to Chong Va Entertainment Limited for the construction of a theme park called “Ocean World”.
According to local lawmakers, the project, which never got off the ground, was originally slated to include an oceanarium, a botanical garden and a raft of other tourism facilities.
Currently, some areas of the “Ocean World” plot are said to have been illegally occupied for the storage of construction materials and machines.
According to yesterday’s executive order, the government has decided to annul the plot’s land concession as the leaseholder failed to develop the plot listed in the concession agreement within the contractual period.
Yesterday’s executive order in the gazette was published in both the Chinese and Portuguese languages. The plot’s concession agreement published in the gazette in 1997 is only available in the Portuguese language. At that time, Macau was still under Portuguese administration.
According to local lawmakers, the plot’s land concession terms state that the leaseholder was required to finish building basic facilities on the plot within 24 months following the granting of the land concession.
According to yesterday’s executive order, the period allowed for the leaseholder to complete the development on the plot was extended by the then secretary for transport and public works in November 1998 to March 2001.
The Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) was established on December 20, 1999.
According to yesterday’s executive order, Rosario drafted a report about the possible annulment of the plot’s land concession and submitted it to Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On in August 2016. Chui finally ordered the annulment of the concession last Wednesday.
According to yesterday’s executive order, the leaseholder can appeal the annulment to the Court of Second Instance (TSI) within 30 days. The leaseholder can also choose to appeal to the chief executive with 15 days.
According to both the current and previous Land Law, the length of the concession period shall be clearly stated in the land concession agreement, but the maximum period cannot exceed 25 years. When the leaseholder finishes carrying out the duties listed in the respective concession agreement – i.e. finishes developing the respective plot of land within the stated maximum period allowed, the land concession will be changed from provisional to definite. After the expiration of the concession granted for the first time – with a maximum period of 25 years, the concession is to be extended for a period of 10 years each time, provided that it has been changed from provisional to definite, according to both the current and previous Land Law.
The current Land Law replaced the previous one, which was enacted in 1980, in March 2014.
However, the current Land Law stipulates that provisional land concessions cannot be renewed upon their expiration.