Minister of Physical Planning, Montgomery Daniel, has warned that new physical planning legislation is being drafted and when passed into law, there would be zero tolerance for unauthorised structures in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
He said on Tuesday during the Budget Debate that the country is now on a new path to its development.
“… and as we seek to establish a new way of life, we are minded of our small size, our mountainous nature, the high level of susceptibility to a range of environmental hazards, including land slippage, soil erosion, impact of climate change and other man-made disasters,” Daniel said.
He told lawmakers and media audiences that given those vulnerabilities, it is imperative that the Physical Planning Department ensure adequate planning, supported by the necessary legal framework and institutional structures and to ensure optimal use of land.
The minister said that many persons want to achieve great things in life.
“But our high egos must not cloud our vision as we seek such development,” he warned.
“Put bluntly, one must not think that he can place a structure anyplace at anytime and feel that he is doing the best. No, it cannot work. Not any more.”
He said this is why the Physical Planning Department has drafted new town and country planning legislation.
This, Daniel said, is being done to bring new meaning to the overall development of the country.
He said a draft act is now before the Attorney General’s chambers and when finalised, will be brought to this Parliament for approval.
Daniel said the Physical Planning Department has been working with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to achieve technical assistance in updating its physical department instruments to enhance its work.
“The time has come when our development must be a pride of our future so that generations to come must appreciate our work. This year, the Physical Planning Department will continue its enforcement compliance in the Town and Country Planning Act and building regulations.
“Simply put, no unauthorised structures will be accepted anywhere across St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The law must be respected at all times…” Daniel said.
He said that the Physical Planning Department will continue its work in harmonising spatial data collected by the ministries and other government agencies using the GIS data.