Government has put the brakes on implementing controversial amendments to new planning rules that propose homeowners leave their homes while their properties are undergoing major renovations.
The measure, which is outlined in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2020 and was approved by Senators last Wednesday, has provoked a firestorm of debate.
Several commenters on social media have blasted the provision, questioning the practicality of the move, noting that it would mean an additional expense for homeowners.
But today, Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment Marsha Caddle attempted to allay fears, promising consultation on the matter.
According to the bill: “No person shall occupy a new or renovated building; … a new extension to a building; or permit any such new, renovated or extended building, to be occupied until an occupancy certificate has been issued with respect to the building.
It further stipulates that the board will issue an occupancy certificate to the homeowner within seven days once renovations are completed and they are in line with the terms of the building permit and the required fee is paid.
But speaking on Voice of Barbados’ Down to Brasstacks, Caddle acknowledged public concerns about the Act.
“We are going to proclaim the part of the Act that speaks to new timelines for planning and development and those provisions. The part that speaks to these issues is not going to be proclaimed, is not going to come into force right now,” she said.
“The reason that we are holding is that we are listening to people. I would not feel comfortable to know Barbadians feel uncomfortable with how this has been communicated or there is a sense that there is not full understanding and to go and put it into force.
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