Town planning ruling could do more harm than good

The local town planning society is concerned about a recent court ruling by High Court Justice Jacqueline Cornelius, saying it did not take into consideration the way the public sector works, and also gave a questionable interpretation of the role of the Planning Advisory Commitee.

Last November, in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Six Men’s Plantation in St Peter back in 2008 by late Chief Town Planner Leonard St Hill, Cornelius ruled that it was not for the Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins to decide who actually receives planning permission.

In fact, the court made it clear that decisions on the processing of all major beachfront and agricultural land applications were to be made by the Prime Minister, who is the minister responsible for town planning, with reference to the Town & Country Planning Advisory Committee, in keeping with the conditions and procedures outlined in Section 4(3) of the Town & Country Planning Act.

However, the Barbados Town Planning Society (BTPS) is concerned that the Prime Minister is not equipped to make such decisions.

‘He [the Prime Minister] does not, to our knowledge, employ qualified town planners. [Therefore] these applications,” BTPS Secretary Kim Penfold said, while expressing concern that such applications were currently not
being dealt with and that a solution needs to be found quickly before the system grinds to a halt.

Penfold said local town planners were also concerned that the ruling would further delay planning approvals, with at least ten such applications already said to be sitting on the Prime Minister desk.

“In some ways, the judgment tries to be helpful – saying decisions need to be made more quickly and calling for greater transparency.. . . which the Barbados Town Planning Society has been calling for for years. The net effect, however, is to cause more delays on important beachfront and other major developments.

“We would like to know that the Government is appealing the decision, because at the moment, it is leaving the whole system in a state of chaos,” he added.

Asked if his organization would appeal the ruling, he told Barbados TODAY they simply did not have the financial wherewithal to do so. However, they were hoping that Government would do so, even though they welcomed the judge’s attempt to bring greater transparency to the planning procedures and the application of the rules of natural justice under the Town and Country Planning Act.

5 Responses to Town planning ruling could do more harm than good

  1. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe March 21, 2017 at 1:04 am

    You’ve become too big for your boots :::: causing confusion in Town & Planning for years now …

    TIME for you to go too :::

    Reply
  2. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn March 21, 2017 at 3:18 am

    What happened to building on spring garden.that belong to Maloney. It looks as though some people could do anything and get away with it. One law for the poor and another for the rich.

    Reply
  3. Colin March 21, 2017 at 10:27 am

    The quickest approach to amend the section of the act which vested the power in the minister responsible for town planning and either vest it in the Chief Town Planner or allow the minister to delegate the authority.

    This demonstrates how the practice of delegating operating decisions to Ministers creates bottlenecks in Barbados. From statutory boards that have defined tendering processes referring their decisions to a minister for approval to this.
    I
    It also get the question as to why this function is being held by the PM rather than the minister responsible for housing and lands.

    Reply
  4. hcalndre March 21, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Speaking about town planning, Trini on 100.7fm this morning is fuming mad about squatters on the island and is saying that most of them are non nationals and the authorities are doing nothing about them. She also said that she know Guyanese, Vincentians and a couple other islands are the squatters but she don`t how many bajans that are squatting in Guyana on land that the Guyanese tell them that they are their brothers and sisters and they`re welcome. She also said that the squatters are sending barrels of foodstuff back to their families, I`ll bet more barrels and boxes come to barbados from Brooklyn alone to their families and friends that what these people that she has a problem with are sending out. Not long ago she had a problem with Western Union and she was dead wrong but she was corrected by the host. Trini thought WU was some fly by night operation. She comes over with her rantings like she is a “Know it all person”.

    Reply
  5. jus March 21, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Thats a really bad argument, the PM has little knowledge,that is useful ,current or relevant on any Damned thing.

    He is a skilled trained FREELOADER on the public purse.

    Only one vacancy for that, and he filled it already

    Reply

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