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Barbados: NEW DEVELOPMENT LAW BEFORE YEAR-END

That’s according to Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who has responsibility for the town and country planning. She told those gathered for a stakeholder consultation on reforming the Town and Country Planning Act Cap. 240, which took place yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, that the intention is to have a draft legislation before Parliament for approval by November.

Contending that the country needs development in order to facilitate growth, Prime Minister Mottley was adamant that we do not have the luxury of time to address the legislation that is badly in need of reform. As such, she indicated that over the next four to six weeks the consultations on the legislation will take place, to move as soon as possible to the stage of drafting. She made the disclosure while noting that the possibility exists, if needed, of engaging a special purpose framework for that drafting to take place.

“Because we want this legislation before Parliament before the end of November, before we celebrate our 52nd birthday as a nation. These are things that will guide, we believe, the next decade, at the very least, of our development,” she said.

Her comments came as she urged them during their deliberations to look at the broader picture, not just business development, but residential development as well. Moreover, she said in all they do, consideration should be given to determining whether the current system for appeals and administrative decisions is the right one. Mottley’s remarks came as she said that serious conversations must be had and serious decisions made about the manner of future development in this country.

“We have before us requests to build hotels at 15 storeys; we have ones at 20 storeys in Bridgetown. We have requests to go to 65 and 70 feet in other parts outside of Bridgetown. We have to decide how best do we marry the fact of scarce land area, with equally a population that is in need of growth,” she said.

The Prime Minister made the point while contending that there needs to be a more scientific approach to our demographics and a more scientific approach to sustainable development in this country. With that in mind, she said her Government is committed to doing an environmental scoping study to determine the feasibility of the reclamation of lands both in the form of peninsulas and islands. Her disclosure came as she pointed out that Barbados has very few green spaces left for serious tourism development and now has to think outside the box.

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