• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • Parish Councils last year delivered 4,543 building permits, valued at $31 billion, as the Government continues the drive to reduce the processing time for building approval applications.
    • Minister Arscott, stated that “this is an improvement over previous years…unprecedented gains have been made in expediting development approvals”.
    • The Ministry will be making improvements to the building approval process.

    Parish Councils last year delivered 4,543 building permits, valued at $31 billion, as the Government continues the drive to reduce the processing time for building approval applications.

    Making the disclosure while making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 17, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, stated that “this is an improvement over previous years…unprecedented gains have been made in expediting development approvals”.

    He outlined that in St. James, the Playa Hotel made its application to the St. James Parish Council in May 2013, to renovate and expand, and approval was granted in July 2013. In St. Catherine, Hi-Pro made application for feed silos, and was given approval within 90 days.

    “These are all significant projects that will contribute to the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). They will provide jobs, increased services within communities and enhance productivity at the local level; these approved projects represent the potential employment of 91,000 persons within the construction industry,” the Minister added.

    He told the House that the Ministry will be making improvements to the building approval process through: capacity building of the local authorities; establishment of help desks in all the Councils; continuous improvement to the standardized application forms; and upgrading of site investigation systems at all the Parish Councils.

    Mr. Arscott also reported that a modern building industry will be instituted with the soon to be Building Bill. He said personnel from all the Councils have been trained to use   the Application Management and Data Automation (AMANDA) system, and provided with new computers to ensure that the development agenda moves as quickly as possible.

    “We are doing this to ensure transparency in the process, and to enable clients, locally and internationally to tract applications online. This system will inform the client of the status of his or her application, whether it is with the Council, or referral agencies,” he said.