Draft physical development plan coming

Barbados is expected to have a new draft Physical Development Plan (PDP) in place by the end of January next year, as the authorities seek to address concerns relating to housing, agriculture and climate change.

Senior Town Planner at the Town & Country Development Planning Office Rudy Headley said preliminary work has already begun on the proposed plan, for which wide public input will be sought.

“We are at the stage where the consultants have actually started to write the policies and we hope that we will have a draft document available by the end of January,” Headley said yesterday in an address at the World Town Planning Day symposium at the Courtyard by Marriott under the theme Spatial Planning – improving the Nation’s Health and Wellness.   

“We will put that out to the communities for about four weeks and then we will start having the community meetings so everyone will be able to have the opportunity to have an input.”

The Government official said the amended physical development plan will help guide decision makers on location, intensity and mix uses affecting the social, economic and physical growth of spatial settings.

“Some of the areas we look at in terms of modern planning [are] climate change, planning and design, the environment, the green economy and heritage,” he said.

The physical development plan was produced in 1970 and adopted in 1976, with a 1986 amended version adopted in 1991. The current plan was amended in 2003 and adopted in 2010.

Headley told the symposium that the latest amendments would also focus heavily on food security by designating food protection zones.

“This is where we are hoping that land will be allocated for agriculture in the interest of food security, and these lands will be hopefully sacrosanct from development. But again that is something that will be thrown out to you sometime in February next year and you will have your input,” he said.

Headley said the plan was designed in such a way that applications could be submitted to the department for processing even while it was still in development.

The PDP is also expected to include descriptions of the way land may be used for both parts of the island and all of Barbados, and will likely indicate the stages in which development will be executed.

It is also expected to cover sites for proposed buildings, infrastructure, open spaces, specific uses or proposes, and land designated for compulsory acquisition.

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