TCPD adds to physical development of Trinidad and Tobago

Photo: Planning and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles (5th from right) and the Executive Team from the Ministry of Planning and Development officially appointed members of the Advisory Town Planning Panel (ATPP) to support proper implementation of certain aspects the Town and Country Planning Act.

September 14, 2022

Planning and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles is announcing for public information that the government, through the Town and Country Planning Division is making significant progress in enhancing systems and processes regarding physical development in Trinidad and Tobago.

On September 14, 2022, Minister Beckles officially appointed for two years, members of the Advisory Town Planning Panel (ATPP). The ATPP was established under the Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 35:01 for the express purpose of advising the Minister on any matter within their knowledge or on which the Minister may seek their advice, as it pertains to the proper implementation of the provision/objects of this Act.

The Panel comprises of professionals from the areas of Town Planning, Law, Social Services, and Engineering, and a representative from the Tobago House of Assembly, appointed by Cabinet.

The current members of the Panel are;

o Ms. Lynn Hilaire - Chair

o Mr. Colin Mark Selvon - member

o Ms. Sarah Budhu - member

o Mr. Jamel Reid - member

o Mr. Michael Keens-Dumas - member

The Panel receives appeals from members of the public requesting reviews on decisions made by the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) for Planning Permission. Reviews are made on refusals from the TCPD and on Outline Approvals where the applicant may not agree with the conditions. The core business of the ATPP is the review of applications whereby site visits are undertaken, interviews are conducted and recommendations made. The end result is that Appellants seeking redress are afforded an opportunity to have their matters heard.

Minister Beckles emphasized that the expertise and guidance of the members will contribute to enhanced spatial development as well as better development of land, regulation of buildings, use of local area spaces in keeping with updated land development policies, building codes, standards and the National Spatial Development Strategy of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Planning and Development Minister also adds that to continue the fulfillment of government’s digitization drive, Trinidad and Tobago’s online construction permitting platform called DevelopTT has, as of September 12 included two more e-Services. The TCPD is now accepting only electronic applications for Liquor Licence Correspondence and Customs Bonded Correspondence. Therefore, the North, South, East and Tobago Regional Offices will cease accepting paper/manual submissions for the above mentioned applications.

Persons or businesses wishing to sell alcohol, wines or spirits of any kind on any land or in any building which can be consumed on or off of the premises, have to apply for the Liquor Licence Correspondence via DevelopTT. Further, if a non-objection request has to be made to create a customs bond area within a warehouse as storage for large quantities of alcohol, an application for Custom Bonded Correspondence must also be conducted on the platform.

Minister Beckles adds that these new developments within the TCPD are a part of the overall thrust to ensure that physical development remains a top priority for the Ministry of Planning and Development. Once the Ministry of Planning and Development continues making the necessary improvements to the TCPD’s systems and processes, this will have further positive implications for other development areas including climate change mitigation, disaster risk planning, citizen safety, the ease of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago and more.

Through these improvements, adds Minister Beckles, the Ministry of Planning and Development is also meeting Trinidad and Tobago’s commitments to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in this case SDG11, to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.