Town Planning To Be Monitored

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, (at lectern) is pictured as he addressed?? a cross section of business executives at the 185th Anniversary luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry(BCCCI), at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Also pictured are (left to right) Executive Director of the BCCI Lisa Gale, President Andy Armstrong and Senior Vice President Lalu Vaswani.??

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has promised to examine the operations of the Town and Country Development Planning Office.

He gave this assurance on Wednesday, as he delivered the feature address at the 185th anniversary luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Government’s Priority List for 2011, was the theme of the presentation which was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill.

Mr. Stuart said the agency received some criticism from the public and stressed that he would do all in his power "to oil whatever creaking machinery is impeding efficiency of the department." But, he stressed, that he still had to protect the public interests through the Department as well.

In relation to the Corporate Registry section, Mr. Stuart added that active discussions were being undertaken with a view to seeing "how the weaknesses- human resource and procedural – of that department could be removed".

While addressing complaints that the processing of applications took much too long, the Prime Minister argued that not all of the delays had to do with the Department itself, but very often, with other agencies of government with which the department had to consult.

"In any event, in addition to the interest of a potential investor and that of the government as an institution, there’s always the wider public interest to consider. Not all contemplated investor pursuits are necessary or obviously in the short or medium, or long-term interests of the public. Applications must of necessity therefore, be subjected to critical and unbiased scrutiny, if the public’s interests are not going to be compromised. Delays result inevitably," Mr. Stuart emphasised.

He, however, pointed out that when the Department processed some applications as a matter of urgency, they remained unused in some cases for years, with the same applicants repeating the procedure to get another unrelated application approved.

The Prime Minister also expressed the hope that the tactic of banking Town Planning permissions would not continue to place undue stress on the relationship between the department and those who used its services.??

clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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