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TCPD makes life easier for developers through updated Spatial Development Guidelines

The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development is announcing for public information that the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) is in the advanced stages of developing new Spatial Development Guidelines (SPGs) for Trinidad and Tobago.

This project will standardize site development standards and planning guidelines for eighteen (18) types of development categories, and are expected to guide developers and applicants when obtaining planning permission by facilitating more informed decisions on the type of development which can be pursued in different localities, thereby avoiding the submission of redundant applications and minimizing the likelihood of application refusals.

The Guidelines have been drafted, and this past week, the TCPD conducted stakeholder validation workshops to review the drafts. This is the stage before finalization of the SPGs. Architects, representatives of the T&T Planners Association, WASA, Fire Services, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and Local Government were among the state and private entities who are also part of this process.

The Planning Minister adds that the new SPGs are simpler, more focused guidelines, and will replace the older and largely outdated Guide to Developers which currently exists. The new guidelines will assist citizens through the use of illustrations, making them more user friendly. These new Guidelines are also meant to increase public confidence and customer satisfaction in the delivery of TCPD’s services by increasing transparency and reducing variability in the decisions made by staff. Developers of all types will soon easily have access to what they can and cannot do for a number of development activities.

In keeping with the Planning and Facilitation of Development Act (PAFD) this project will standardize site development and planning guidelines for the eighteen (18) types of development categories listed below:

1. Gas Station and CNG Stations

2. Cemeteries, crematoriums and funeral homes

3. Driveways and right of ways

4. Granny flats, maid quarters and tiny houses

5. Home-based occupation

6. Basement residential parking

7. Mixed-use development

8. Places of worship

9. Small scale village industrial activities

10. Resort development

11. Brownfield development guidelines

12. Industry – specifically Heavy Industry

13. Warehousing

14. Landscape Design Guidelines

15. Designing and creating places for people

16. Climate change adaptation design guidelines (for waterfront areas)/ Coastal Development – inclusive of climate change/ rising sea level mitigation and flood prone areas

17. Public spaces, recreation, parks, trails and green/ open spaces

18. Guidelines for Green building construction and LEED certification (also to include guidelines on urban roof-top farming)


This deliverable is one facet of the TCPD’s overall Transformation Project which includes Digitization of the TCPD’s records, Automation of the Construction Permitting System and enhanced Service Delivery. This is all part of Government’s drive to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by making ‘human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ through theme 2 of T&T’s National Development Strategy, ‘Delivering Good Governance and Service Excellence’.