Is The Town Planning Office Of Barbados Delivering Its Mandate?


It should be obvious to BU readers that there are some pillar issues which we write about repeatedly. We believe that our continued focus might just be enough to create much needed change. One of the pillar issues is the role of Town Planning department to ensure that Barbados efficiently develops its physical infrastructure to the benefit of current and future generations. As we move around Barbados, our layman’s observation  suggests that Barbados is being developed in a very ad hoc manner.  For example, our view of the sea is being suffocated; chemical plants are being built in large residential districts; office buildings are being built in congested areas; land use is being changed based on economic and political considerations with environmental factors lagging far behind. Check it out with a critical eye the next time you move around Barbados.  The lack of planning is more apparent if you have traveled to developed countries.   We make the point about developed countries, because it appears to be the latest political buzz with a general election imminent, and we hear our government politicos trying to attain developed nation status in quick order.

According to the Town and Country Planning Statute CAP 240, the matters which come under the ambit of the Town Planning office are many and varied:

  1. Preparation of development plans.
  2. Contents of development plans.
  3. Development plan relating to part of Barbados.
  4. Consultation by Chief Town Planner with certain persons or bodies.
  5. Approval of development plans.
  6. Notice of approval by Minister and date of operation of development
  7. Amendment of development plans.
  8. Modification of development plans in relation to land designated as subject to compulsory acquisition.
  9. Duration of planning permission.
  10. Duration of outline planning permission.
  11. Termination of planning permission.
  12. Effect of certain failure to develop.
  13. Power to serve enforcement notices.
  14. Meaning of “development”.
  15. Development requiring planning permission.
  16. Development orders.
  17. Determination of applications for planning permission.
  18. Supplementary provisions as to applications for planning permission.
  19. Reference of planning applications to Minister
  20. Reference of planning decisions for review by Minister.
  21. Appeal in default of planning decisions.
  22. Applications to determine whether planning permission required.
  23. Permission to retain buildings or works or continue use of land.
  24. Supplementary provisions as to effect of planning permission.
  25. Revocation or modification of planning permission.
  26. Orders requiring discontinuance of use or alteration or removal of buildings or works.
  27. Proper maintenance of waste land.
  28. Tree preservation orders.
  29. Building preservation orders.
  30. List of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.
  31. Effect of inclusion of a building in a list under section 29.
  32. Control of advertisements.
  33. Supplementary provisions as to advertisements.
  34. Applications for permission to retain development or continue use after service of enforcement notice.
  35. Appeal to Judge in chambers against enforcement notice.
  36. Penalties for non-compliance with enforcement notices.
  37. Execution by Chief Town Planner of work required by enforcement notice.
  38. Supplementary provisions as to enforcement notices.
  39. Saving of existing uses.
  40. Enforcement notice to have effect against subsequent development.
  41. Revocation of enforcement notice.
  42. Stop notices.
  43. Compensation for loss due to stop notice.
  44. Penalty for noncompliance with notice under section 26.
  45. Appeal to Judge in chambers against notice under section 26.
  46. Execution by Chief Town Planner of work required by notice under section 26.
  47. Supplementary provisions as to notices under section 26.
  48. Notice to enforce control under section 30.
  49. Appeal to Judge in chambers against notice under section 45.
  50. Execution by Chief Town Planner of work required by notice under section 45.
  51. Supplementary provisions as to notices under section 45.
  52. Penalty for contravening orders under section 25.
  53. Acquisition of land.
  54. Appropriation of land of statutory boards.
  55. Disposal of land.
  56. Power to modify provisions of Land Acquisition Act.
  57. Compensation for Refusal or Conditional Grant of Planning Permission
  58. Definitions of expressions for purposes of Part VII.
  59. Right to compensation for planning decisions.
  60. No compensation payable in certain cases.
  61. No compensation if other development permitted.
  62. General provisions as to claims for compensation.
  63. Review of planning decisions where compensation claimed.
  64. Acquisition of land in lieu of compensation.
  65. Compensation where planning permission revoked or modified.
  66. Application of section 61 to special cases of refusal or conditional grant of planning permission.
  67. Compensation in respect of orders under section 25.
  68. Compensation in respect of tree and building preservation orders.
  69. Compensation for restrictions on advertising.
  70. General provisions as to compensation for depreciation under Part VIII.
  71. Determination of claims for compensation.
  72. Application of section 60 for purpose of acquisition of land in lieu of compensation.
  73. Validity of development plans, certain orders, decisions and directions.
  74. Validity of enforcement notices and similar notices.
  75. Proceedings for questioning validity of development plans.
  76. Proceedings for questioning validity of certain orders, decisions and directions.

With a very limited staff located at the Garrison Savannah, St. Michael, it should be evident to Barbadians that the Town Planning department is undermanned and there is a lack of expertise. This is a sorry state occurring against the background of a booming construction sector in Barbados, which has been responsible for triggering a significant amount of our economic activity in recent years. Our concern has been also heightened after the Britton’s Hill tragedy when Town Planning gave permission to  construct a building on top of a cave. More of concern should be the ease with which the political directorate is able to change land use policy. The touted Building Code and Building Authority are much needed!


    On the subject of Town Planning permissions, BU like many Barbadians are aware of the ease with which Haloute got a building   permit to construct Chefette restaurant at Wildey. It is known that giving permission to build a fast food restaurant on that busy street violated every planning code.  Yet, he got it. How is it that the original classification of his application was so easily changed from a warehouse to a restaurant? There are many instances of land use changes, which merits questions being asked.  The most famous in recent times must be the change in land use on the West Coast, when a water zone area was changed to allow for development of land owned by a close friend of the PM.

Here again, we have placed an important government department, which is required to function at a very high level to facilitate a strategic approach to our physical development, under the microscope. The finite land space of our 166 square mile limestone island calls for astute planning.


Other BU Stories

A Clear Danger-Where Is The Town Planner
A Clear Danger-Where Is The Town Planner Part II
Looks Like “Big Business” Is Joining Ranks Against The Chefette Victim~A Case For The Minister Of Consumer Affairs Senator Lynette Eastmond To Intervene!
Chefette Restaurant Needs To Be More Customer Friendly
Chefette Restaurant Continues To Profit Because Of The Stupidity Of Successive Governments

11 thoughts on “Is The Town Planning Office Of Barbados Delivering Its Mandate?

  1. How in heavens name is the TCP department meant to function if constantly when they decline applications the PM collects a retirement fee and overrules the office.
    The evidence of this is none greater that the development at Portico where the original plan was denied but someone who knew the developer suggested that he should go with him to Bush Bar a Friday evemning and meet Arthur there the two were introduced and the fee was set and settled and Arthur told him to make the financial arrangement to deliver the funds to Hallam Nicholls who was also on the scene as well, they hobviously paid the money as the building is being erected.
    Very much the same with St.Peters bay one gov’t turns it down and Owing overrules it and what happens next the first good rain fall and the poor people in the village gets flooded out. This is really a caring gov’t for you!!

  2. An article on Town Planning at the present moment is most fortuitous, because we presently have a massive project underway that has no approval, but owners/developers are going ahead.

    I refer to the Vaucluse field that owners have dubbed ‘Vaucluse Raceway’.

    Bulldozers and backhoes are presently illegally cutting and making racetrack roads. Go see for yourself.

    Our objections and petitions have not been acknowledged. We are dust, we are straw, we are victimised unjustly; we have no rights.

    As God is my witness I never thought something like this could be allowed to happen in Barbados. Where are we going?

  3. Is this owner the same man who is COW’s partner in AIL attempting to take control of Barbados Farms? If it is, then we know what will happen to those 4000 acres, if they get what they want.

  4. Well you look out very shortly in Sunset Crest opposite the mall you will see another monster of a condo block being erected very much like the monster building the Sands which is built right onto the highway, this new condo block also belongs to the same Dereck Smith and company from Sandy Lane, the time is coming in a real rush where these fields and hills and beaches are no longer our to enjoy and frolick on.
    Mr Errol Barrow was so right over 40 years ago in his statement that the popularity of Barbados may lead to Barbadians being displaced.

  5. I am seeing in today’s Nation on page 12 where there is a notice posted for a court action against ERIC IAIN STEWART DEANE file number 07-0141 in the matter of Kingsland Land Development in the courts in Barrie Ontario.


    From what I am seeing in this proposal is that no longer will cars be allowed to drive along the road with the view of the stretch of sea on its side but will now terminate at the bottom of the road with what looks like much less public area for we bajans to use and enjoy, is this what Owing has done to us Barbadians ?
    Sold our beach front lands off to the highest bidder, this could never be a real solution to this problem this is a sell out nothing less nothing more a complete sell out, how can you compare the beautiful drive along the coast line to what they have proposed a road and a turning area, why do we have to give up our rights to the beauty and the access to this lovely area?
    Is it because they want to build condos on the lands above and do not want the sight of we poor black people to be seen from their luxuary condos while we a sea bath and a game of beach cricket.
    When I listened to Richard Gill on the call in show the other day I withheld my comments but having seen the scam that Pemberton and Patterson have pulled over Owing I am dumbfounded and very dissapointed, I take it that this is not yet passed and that this group of clowns are purely trying this on for fit to test the waters to see if they can get it pass the citizens of this island.
    This is a real disgrace to the average Barbadian that a developer can come here with bags of cash and have Owing and cabinet change and prevent Barbadians from enjoying their scenic drive along the beautiful coast line of Batts Rock, this should never be, this is a disgraceful act of greed and corruption on Owing’s part.

  7. Pingback: The People Of Vaucluse Said No To The Building Of A Race Track In Their Area, Member Of Parliament Cynthia Forde Said No, The Chief Town Planner Said No But The Development Continues Anyway ~ Does Anyone Know Who Said YES! «

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