JIS News

Minister with responsibility for Special Projects, Daryl Vaz, said that the Office of the Prime Minister is finalising amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act regulations that will make local authorities more effective in removing unapproved buildings and closing unauthorized businesses.
Mr Vaz was giving his support to a Private Members Motion in Parliament earlier this week which sought a review of the Town and Country Planning Act and make recommendations for proposed amendments that will enable authorities to carry out their duties more effectively.
Clip”It is not too late to try and stem the cancer of unapproved and illegal structures throughout upper, middle and lower St. Andrew and Kingston, other towns and communities throughout Jamaica. Member Montague and myself are working hard with a two-tiered approval process,” Minister Vaz said.
Among the difficulties encountered by Parish Councils are: legal delay tactics to stop demolitions; permission for the unregulated operator to apply for retention of use and that both occupier and owner of a property must be served before any action can be taken.
Other Government members, including Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Shahine Robinson and Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, supported the motion. Minister Robinson said that the problem was also prevalent in rural towns and she named Ocho Rios as an area of concern.
Parliament referred the matter to its Infrastructure Committee for consideration. The Committee is to report back on this matter in three months.

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