Planning Ministry implements strict enforcement to clamp down on illegal development

Caption: Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis (right), during a recent tour of her constituency looks at a drain near Orange Grove with Works and Transport Minister, Senator the Honourable Rohan Sinanan (left). (Photo courtesy the Ministry of Planning and Development)

June 12, 2017: The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis is stating to the nation that the Ministry of Planning and Development through the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) is clamping down on unplanned and unauthorized development and focusing on an enforcement drive to have citizens employ best practices and proper construction methods. 

Many individuals are building without approvals and those who seek approvals from the TCPD are building outside of the remit of these approvals.  There are instances of people building in river courses, building 2 storey structures in areas where approvals have been granted for one storey, do not provide adequate parking and a host of other ill-advised developments in Trinidad as well as Tobago.  This wanton disregard for planning policies creates environmental problems, challenges with dealing with sewerage, are safety hazards for patrons, residents and the general public and contribute to the degradation of our environment.  “We have a number of enforcement notices being issued by the Town and Country Division and there are also some matters before the court”.  For the first quarter of 2017, 35 matters have been considered and are to be enforced with more to come.  From September 2015 to December 2016, 41 matters have been brought to my attention for enforcement.  Citizens are given the chance to mediate with the TCPD and follow procedure, and in many cases still do not comply.

In one case heard before the 3rd Magistrates’ Court, the Ministry of Planning was successful in having particular offenders convicted and fined the sum of $750.00 each for an initial offence and the further sum of $815,000.00 for the continuing offence for the period January 2006 to March 2017, a period of 11 years.  There has been another case before the courts since 2007 regarding a wall that contravened the 2.1 metre height requirement, the Defendants have recently complied with TCPD regulations and are no longer in breach and as such the matter was withdrawn at a court hearing on May 25, 2017. 

“Therefore, as the Minister of Planning and Development with responsibility for development as described under the Town and Country Planning Act, I would like to advise that citizens desist from carrying out unauthorised development across Trinidad and Tobago since failure to comply with stipulated regulations will result in enforcement proceedings being initiated against the owner(s) or occupier(s) of the subject land.  

 

Ministers Robinson-Regis and Sinanan look at an overgrown river course near Maloney.

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For further information please contact:

The Corporate Communications Unit

Ministry of Planning and Development

868-612-9700 ext 2073/7/5/6

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