Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io pledged Thursday that the government will listen to public opinion when the process of amending the city’s three-decade-old setback regulation begins, which he indicated would happen sometime next year.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a regular meeting of the Science and Technology Committee at the Macau World Trade Centre in Nape, Lau said the government planned to propose amendments to the Urban Construction General Regulation (RGCU) to the legislature early next year, adding that the proposed amendments will mainly focus on the regulation’s administrative aspects.
According to the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT), this includes simplifying administrative procedures and changing stipulations regarding illegal constructions and penalties.
Lau also said that after the process is finished, the government would deal with the regulation’s technical aspects, including stipulations about the city’s setback rule.
“Regarding the revision of the the setback regulation, the government will consult the public and listen to their opinions,” Lau said, adding that the government does not simply seek the opinion of the Urban Planning Committee.
Asked by reporters about his future in light of recent media reports that he may be relieved of his position when the next government begins on December 20, Lau simply answered his priority was to continue with what he is doing. He then went into the meeting.
The setback regulation came to public notice when Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On indicated during his re-election campaign last month that the government may scrap it. While property developers support this plan, there are concerns among the public that axing the regulation would mean that more and more residents will have the sunlight blocked from their flats.
In land use, a setback is the distance which a building or other structure is set back from a street or road or any other place to ensure their exposure to sunlight. Setbacks are traditionally used to make sure that streets are provided more open space and adequate light and air. Locally, the regulation is popularly known as “shadow law”.(macaunews/macaupost)