Housing Minister, Michael Lashley??

Though striving to meet the high demand by Barbadians for ???a piece of de rock’, the Ministry of Housing and Lands is doing so within the confines of the island’s town planning regulations.

Housing Minister, Michael Lashley, made this assertion yesterday, in response to recent comments made by Historian, Dr. Karl Watson, who was at the time delivering a public lecture about the loss of the countryside due to rapid development.??

According to Mr. Lashley, "once we act within the town planning and all other existing regulations …and of course in consultation with other interested parties that would be affected, we don’t think that there will be any danger at all."??

The Minister also indicated that there was a comprehensive approach to land use by his Ministry and the National Housing Corporation.??

"We are cautious when moving agricultural land out of production.?? What we have done in rural areas, where there is agricultural land, is to only take the frontage of the land where you have a ribbon development ,"?? Mr. Lashley explained.

He noted that limited portions of agricultural land was therefore used, in accordance?? with ??town planning regulations.

??The Housing and Lands Minister also pointed out that the need for housing in urban areas was as a result of a lack of land space and the "deplorable conditions" of some of the houses on the rental market. He added:?? "So you have the lack of land space and then you have those who want to get out of their existing conditions into new homes.?? That is why we have to press on with the projects."

Mr. Lashley was at the time touring the nearly completed Housing Every Last Person (HELP) site at Stuarts Lodge, Tweedside Road, St. Michael, with Ministry and NHC officials. lbayley@barbados.gov.bb

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