Contractors and citizens desirous of constructing their homes and businesses will soon have their application process so streamlined that the lengthy delays previously encountered will soon be a thing of the past.
That’s the promise coming out of the Statutory Approvals Committee chaired by Housing and Urban Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, at the conclusion of its meeting held on May 10.
“For far too long,” she said, “homeowners and contractors have complained about the interminable delays and bottlenecks they experience in the construction process. This is often the result of the entire process being handled by different agencies residing under different Ministries. Mindful of that, the Honourable Prime Minister established a Cabinet-approved Committee in 2020 to resolve issues surrounding the approval process and to expedite applications once the requisite criteria was met.”
The Committee comprises public sector entities with responsibilities for regulatory and statutory approvals, such as the Offices of the Commissioner of State Lands, the Chief State Solicitor, the Registrar General, Town and Country Planning Division, Public Health, Local Government, the Environmental Management Agency, Lands and Surveys, Drainage Division, WASA, T&TEC, and the Fire Services.
Also in attendance were the Minister in the Ministry, Adrian Leonce, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Nirmala Ramlogan, as well as Land Settlement Agency’s Chairman, Wayne Innis and CEO, Hazar Hosein.
Discussions centered around the various agencies working in tandem with each other to avoid delays on projects, by ensuring timely, efficient and coordinated use of existing resources to expedite the approval process.
Robinson-Regis noted that both the LSA and the HDC have several existing projects requiring regulatory and statutory approvals, and as such will benefit from the coordinated approach.
According to Robinson-Regis, this whole-of-Government approach could very well be the game-changer in resolving current and future challenges experienced by land developers in this country.