The Town and Country Development Planning Office is on a mission to have all the listed buildings within the Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison site measured and documented.
This information has come from Chairman of the Barbados World Heritage Committee and Chief Town Planner, Mark Cummins, who said the measuring and documenting of 18 listed buildings within the property had commenced.
Underscoring the importance of this initiative, Mr. Cummins said there were 115 listed buildings within the site, but the authorities did not have all the relevant details on them.
"I am not only speaking of the drawings as they relate to the floor plans and elevations, but a lot of work has to be done on researching the history of these buildings; so there is a complete package which can be preserved in the Archives Department, or at the Barbados Museum for the benefit of future generations.
"This exercise will be continued over successive financial years, until we have measured and documented all the listed buildings within historic Bridgetown and its Garrison," Mr. Cummins stressed.
He further disclosed that government officials would shortly meet with some private sector owners whose buildings were currently being used for commercial purposes.
"We will be asking some of them to match the Crown and also have their buildings measured and documented. If we are successful in that venture, then we certainly expect to complete this exercise within a three-year period. If we are not successful, then it is going to take a little longer. But, that measuring and documentation exercise is very important…One of the action plans is to enhance and preserve the built heritage, so that the measuring and documenting process is a critical feature in ensuring that we preserve the built heritage," the Chief Town Planner explained.
Admitting there was a challenge where some Barbadians, including owners of buildings, were not aware of their listed status, Mr. Cummins pointed out that signage would be erected in the future at the various locations.
The first set of listed buildings was published in the Official Gazette in 1984. In order to qualify for the list, the building must have some special architectural or historical significance. The Town Planning Act states that no work should be carried out on a listed building or such building demolished, unless the necessary permission has been obtained.