Work is advanced in the preparation of development orders, which will zone communities and state-permitted commercial activities.
Four development orders are being promulgated for the Negril/Green Island Area in Westmoreland, and the parishes of Portland, Trelawny and Manchester.
Work is well underway in the preparation of the new Kingston and St. Andrew Development Order, which is expected to be promulgated and gazetted during this financial year.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who made the announcement on Wednesday, June 26, during his contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, said that draft parish development orders have been prepared for St. Catherine (excluding Portmore), St. James, St. Thomas and Clarendon.
He said that during this financial year, a draft order will be prepared for St. Elizabeth to guide investment and development in the parish.
The Minister with responsibility for Land noted that upon the completion and promulgation of these orders, Jamaica, for the first time, will be completely covered by the Town and Country Planning Act.
“We intend to update the development orders and development plans every five years, to ensure that they remain current and relevant,” he informed.
Meanwhile, the Ministry will also be moving to finalise the draft Town and Country Planning Bill and the completion of drafting instructions for the new Town and Country Planning Act.
The new Town and Country Planning Bill will allow for the creation of a framework of development plans and development orders, which will enable government to formulate up-to-date policies and plans with respect to land use, physical and spatial planning and development control.
It will also provide for the reviewing and rationalising of the roles and functions of all agencies involved in land use, physical and spatial planning, and development control.
“New features of the Town and Country Planning Bill will include the extension of the Act to our territorial waters to include the continental shelf, the exclusive economic zone and all natural or artificial accretions,” Mr. Pickersgill said.
In addition, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), in partnership with the Town and Country Planning Authority, will complete several planning studies with respect to Negril, the Blue Lagoon, and Port Henderson this financial year.
The agencies will also look at net residential density and the floor space index throughout the island, as well as, setback from natural and artificial features including water bodies.
Mr. Pickersgill added that recommendations from these and other studies will be used to issue planning policy guidelines that will be used along with other instruments, to guide and control development within the island.
“These planning policy guidelines will facilitate a more consistent, transparent and accountable decision making process,” Mr. Pickersgill said.
Contact: Latonya Linton