January 28, 2014
The four new Provisional Development Orders recently promulgated by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) on behalf of the Town and Country Planning Authority (TCPA) have addressed many of the challenges faced by residents and commuters within the island's urban centres.
The Provisional Orders which cover the parishes of Portland, Manchester, Trelawny and the Negril and Green Island Area outline policies that address issues related to parking, public transportation facilities and the issues of urban sprawl.
The Development Orders, which were published and promulgated by the TCPA in October 2013, also address encroachment in ecologically sensitive areas, waste treatment and management, conflicting land uses (residential/ commercial use) and ease of access within the areas.
Speaking at a meeting of the Incorporated Master Builders Association of Jamaica (IMAJ), Dione Chambers, Senior Physical Planner at NEPA, said that the new Orders give a number of recommendations on how development in the areas can be streamlined to promote efficiency, reduce congestion, enhance the character of communities and support vibrant local economies.
“The intention is to bring order to the development in the areas. Some of the concerns addressed in the Orders cover traffic congestion, limited carriage way, absence of sideways, inadequate drains and poor drainage network,” she informed.
The Orders also give consideration to the need for adequate housing to satisfy a growing population; access to open and recreational spaces; and the encouragement of rainwater harvesting for new developments.
Ms. Chambers urged stakeholders to provide their feedback on the Provisional Orders. She said that persons who can make objections on the recommendations within the Orders include: landowners, persons who have a leasehold agreement or have a right of way to public waterways in the specified areas.
"As a landowner you have a right to comment. These documents make proposals on how spaces should be used. If your land is zoned for something contrary to what you want, the TCPA and NEPA want to hear from you. All comments and reasonable objections will be taken into consideration before these proposals are finalized," she said.
The IMAJ group, which is the construction trade association in Jamaica was enthusiastic about the new Orders and the areas addressed. Carvel Stewart, President of the Association said the issues addressed within the Orders are all relevant and necessary in the development process.
All proposed developments going forward should conform to the Development Orders. The four new Provisional Development Orders can be viewed at respective parish libraries, post offices, or parish council offices. The Orders may also be purchased at the parish council offices or at NEPA’s head office in Kingston.
Comments on the Development Orders should be addressed to Robert Collie, Secretary of the Town and Country Planning Authority, and delivered at any of NEPA’s Office islandwide or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at (876-733-9183. Comments should be submitted by February 21, 2014.