January 22, 2014
Despite several calls for members of the public to comment on the Development Orders for three parishes and the Negril/Green Island Area, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says to date it has received no submissions.
Provisional Development Orders for Trelawny, Manchester, Portland and Negril/Green Island Area were promulgated and published by the Agency in October 2013. The documents have been made available at post offices, parish libraries and parish council offices in the focus areas as well as at the NEPA Head Office on Caledonia Avenue, Cross Roads, St. Andrew.
Advertisements inviting comments and publicizing the locations where the Development Orders can be viewed have also been placed in the major newspapers, on the Agency’s website, and on its social media pages.
Leonard Francis, Director of the Spatial Planning Division said despite these efforts, the Agency is yet to receive written feedback from the public and especially “interested persons” (such as any local authority, persons who own, lease, and develop lands) as defined under Section 6 of the Town and Country Planning Act. He urged person to peruse the Development Orders and provide comments.
Mr. Francis made the appeal while addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Land Surveyors Association of Jamaica recently at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Andrew. He urged the professional groups, landowners and other stakeholders who will be directly affected by the requirements outlined in the Development Orders to make submissions.
“We want you to critique the Development Orders and put any comments you have in writing. Take advantage of the opportunity to make suggestions that may result in possible amendments to the Development Orders now, so that the possible issues may be addressed before the Development Orders are confirmed,” said Mr. Francis.
The Director of the Spatial Planning said that there are consequences of not providing input regarding the Development Orders particularly for private land owners as their property may be zoned for uses which may impact adversely on their plans and the value of their land.
“For instance, you may have bought a piece of land that you intended to build your dream home on but under the Development Order it is now zoned for agricultural use. So we are imploring you to make your submissions before it is too late,” he encouraged.
Comments on the Development Orders should be sent to Robert Collie, Secretary of the Town and Country Planning Authority at NEPA’s Head Office at 10 & 11 Caledonia Avenue, Kingston 5 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and by fax to 733-9183. Comments should be submitted by February 21, 2014.