by Linda Straker
- Physical Planning Unit currently falls under Ministry of Finance and is responsible for approving all construction plans
- Carlton Frederick’s present role is to transit the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) into the authority as a single entity under the relevant legislation
Kim Frederick, who is presently the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, is the chairman of the latest statutory body established by the Government of Grenada.
She heads the Planning and Development Authority, which among other things, will be responsible for regulating development by the means provided in the 2016 Physical Planning and Development Control Act, and by amendments in Act 23 of 2017.
The recently appointed 10-member board shall also function as the national service for the identification, protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the natural and cultural heritage of Grenada, in accordance with UNESCO’s Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, to which Grenada is a party.
Board member, Carlton Frederick, at a recent news conference explained that his present role is to transit the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) into the authority as a single entity under the relevant legislation: “That is the mandate – we want to be able to set up one unit to be able to be responsible for development control, and to be able to be responsible for forward planning in this country, and to be able to look after our pristine environment.”
The PPU currently falls under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and is responsible for approving all construction plans. Frederick said that during the transition period, the unit’s work will not be interrupted. “At the same time, we have to be able to continue to deal with all the applications that come into the department, so we have to be able to work, to be working to service the board with all the applications, so we can take decisions pertaining to all the illegal developments that are happening.”
Admitting that the planning system in Grenada is seriously fragmented, Frederick said, “It has been so for far too long, and somebody has to stand and take the decision to be able to get this thing in proper perspective.” He said the unit will be the technical arm of the Planning and Development Authority.
The transition period is expected to conclude by the end of the second quarter of 2020 with day-to-day administration and management of the technical arm headed by a Chief Executive Officer. As with other statutory bodies, staff will either be seconded from the Public Service or hired to fill the new positions.
The Chief Executive Officer may prepare, or cause to be prepared, a physical plan for the whole of Grenada within 3 years after the commencement of the law, and the authority’s finances will now have to face annual review by the Audit Department.
Section 39 mandates that the authority establish a committee to be called the Natural and Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, to act in an advisory capacity to the authority on all matters pertaining to the protection of the natural and cultural heritage of Grenada.
The functions of the committee are among other things to advise the authority with respect to:
- compiling, adopting or amending the lists of buildings, monuments and sites of prehistoric, historic or architectural merit or interest;
- issuing interim preservation orders for the urgent protection of unlisted buildings, monuments and sites of prehistoric, historic or architectural merit or interest;
- determining applications for permission to alter or demolish any listed building or monument or to disturb any listed site;
- compiling or amending the lists of places of natural beauty or natural interest, and the declaration of any such area to be an environmental protected area;
- determining applications for the development of land within environmental protected areas;
- incorporating the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the natural and cultural heritage, into the planning policy at the level of local, regional and national development plans;
- preparing plans for protecting, conserving and rehabilitating buildings and groups of buildings of historic or architectural merit or interest, including the designation of peripheral protection belts or buffer zones, and the conditions for the use and development of land in such areas;
- designating Heritage Conservation Areas to protect groups of buildings of historic or architectural value;
- determining applications for constructing new buildings on land situated in Heritage Conservation Areas, or in the vicinity of listed buildings or monuments, or on listed sites;
- issuing of abatement notices for the preservation of amenities; and
- regulating outdoor advertising.
The current Planning board members are Kim Frederick as Chairman; Ronnie Sylvester, Christopher Husbands, Paula LaTouche-Keller, Senator Cathisha Williams, Aria St Louis, Carvel Frederick, Najar Andall, Trevor Barclay, and Carlton Frederick. Secretary to the board is Kerenia Mc Intosh.