Charlestown, Nevis, May 24, 2022 (NIA) – In its quest to effectively deliver on the goals of the Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control Ordinance and its corresponding regulations, the Department of Physical Planning and Environment held a recent one-day training session for staff members.
Mr. Raoul Pemberton, Director of the department, told the staff, while delivering remarks at the opening ceremony that at the end of the exercise, they would be better placed to fulfill the objectives of the legislation, and to enhance their work process for fairness, openness and efficiency.
“The responsibility to ensure that the goals and objectives are met is conferred upon the director, by extension the staff at the Department of Physical Planning and Environment, as such it is imperative that the legislations as well as the process of determining development are well understood, adhered to, and implemented.
“We ought not to give good service, be fair in our deliberations, be efficient in our actions only because it is the right thing to do but as our good premier echoed at his January 22 meeting with heads of ministries, ‘We must remember that we live in a very litigious society,’ hence, it is absolutely important that we, as public servants, carry out our duties not only professionally but within the confines of the law,” he said.
Addressing the procedure dealing with applications, Mr. Pemberton underscored that there are guidelines stipulated by the legislation to ensure impartiality and transparency.
“With regards to the matter of fairness and openness of the process of determination of development applications, it is outlined in the Physical Planning Ordinance that a committee called the Development Advisory Committee is established, and has the responsibility to advise the Director of Physical Planning on the determination of major projects…
“This advice of the Development Advisory Committee, the Director of the Department of Physical Planning must adhere to,” he said.
The Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control Ordinance and its corresponding regulations were legislated in the Nevis Island Assembly in 2021 with the overarching goals to allow for the preparation of physical plans for the island of Nevis, for the control of development of land, building and subdivision of land, for the assessment of the environmental impact of development and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage.
Mr. Pemberton also spoke to the objectives of the legislations as it relates to Nevis.
“The objectives of these legislations are clear and simple, that there is appropriate and sustainable use of publicly and privately owned lands to maintain and improve the quality of the physical environment; to provide the orderly subdivision of land with infrastructure and other related services; to maintain and improve the standard of building construction to enhance human health and safety; to provide for physical planning and development control processes that are fair, open, accessible, timely and efficient; to protect and conserve the natural and built heritage,” he explained.