Senior Minister with responsibility for infrastructural projects, Dr. William Duguid, announcing the new name for the Town and Country Development Planning Office – the Planning and Development Department – during a press conference today. Looking on is Director of Planning and Development, Trevor Leach (left) and acting Deputy Director, Rudy Headley (centre). (GP)

The Town and Country Development Planning Office now has a new name. It is the Planning and Development Department. 

The renaming followed the proclamation of the Planning and Development Act, 2019, on December 7, 2021.

Additionally, the post of Chief Town Planner has been replaced with that of Director of Planning and Development, and there is a Planning and Development Board to handle applications for planning permission, except those referred to the Minister responsible for planning and development, thus removing the task from the one public officer previously assigned.

Senior Minister with responsibility for infrastructural projects, Dr. William Duguid, made the announcement at the official launch of the department’s e-portal and website today, at Baobab Tower.

He told his audience that the new legislation was passed to address systemic weaknesses in the planning and development regimes. 

It will also aid in the processing and delivering of development planning and construction permits within reasonable timeframes, while improving Barbados’ reputation for doing business.

Dr. Duguid stated that the changes were aimed at achieving transparency and accountability, efficiency and effectiveness, and to create a system that is tailored to Barbadian society and that is “fit for purpose”.

“The new legislation embodies the above principles. The principle of Proactive Management is one of four cornerstone precepts that underpin the review of the planning process and the adopted changes against which performance should and will be measured as we move forward.  The other principles are good governance, E-Government, Consultation as well as participation,” the Senior Minister stated.

Dr. Duguid further stated: “This new legislation establishes a modern framework for delivering planning and development services as well as the related institutional framework to support a more efficient delivery of planning services. Planning and development services have been identified by this administration as “mission critical” to Barbados’ development.”

Of the new Planning and Development Board and its function, the Senior Minister said that the board must determine major and complex applications as prescribed in the legislation, but may delegate certain decision-making authority to the Director to deal with applications falling outside those prescriptions.

The members of the new board are: Chairperson Vere Brathwaite; Trevor Browne; Christian Marshall; Peter Stevens; Dr. Yolanda Alleyne; Sanjay Amin; Rosalind Smith Millar; Antonio Elcock; the Director of Planning and Development as Executive Secretary;  Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources, Cheryl Bennett-Inniss; Chief Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security, Keeley Holder; Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, Dr. Leo Brewster, and the Director of the Environmental Protection Department, Anthony Headley.

He further disclosed that there will be an Appeals Tribunal to hear and determine planning appeals against the decisions of the Board and Director, and its members will be announced shortly.

Dr. Duguid pointed out that the Minister would retain responsibility for overall policy direction and determine applications of strategic economic or environmental significance, which represent a significant departure from the Physical Development Plan.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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