Consultants have been chosen and work is expected to start soon to amend the Barbados Physical Development Plan (PDP).

And, the Town and Country Development Planning Office will host a press conference this Friday, January 29, to introduce the consultants and the Steering Committee that has been appointed for the project.

Underscoring the importance of the PDP, Deputy Chief Town Planner, George Browne, said: ???Planning is dynamic, and a country needs development in order to progress. So, there is a need to guide and harness this development to ensure it is carried out in an orderly manner, and this can only be achieved through the formulation of policies for the various sectors.

???You need to identify where tourism development can be carried out; similarly for agriculture and resource mining, etc. So, there is need to put in place guidelines and policies to ensure that this development is carried out, that it is sustainable and not injurious to the environment. So, there is a need to have planned development.???

The Physical Development Plan sets out the broad land use and settlement policy and the vision for the future growth and development of the island through the provision of strategic policies, grounded within a framework of sustainable development.

In addition, the PDP contains a number of policies which address issues related to Growth Management and Agricultural Preservation, Housing, Social and Community Facilities, Cultural Heritage, Environment and Economic Development, Tourism and Recreation, Transport and Resource Extraction. These policies inform decision-makers so no harm is done to the environment, while at the same time facilitating development.

The consultants will have to examine a number of policies relating to tourism development, agriculture, transport and population growth, to name a few, and prepare sectoral background reports which will be integrated into the Physical Development Plan.

The first PDP was prepared in 1970 and came into operation in 1976, while an amendment was done in 1986 and that plan came into effect in 1991. It was further amended in 2003, and operationalised in 2008.

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