Enforcement and scrutiny is the daily mantra of the Town and Country Planning Department in this post hurricanes BVI. In fact Chief Planner of Town and Country Planning Department, Mr. Greg Adams announced that his Department is currently doing some research in the area of building codes and he announced that very shortly an announcement will be made on what the new building code to be adopted will be.
Beyond that, Mr. Adams said that there are some other systemic changes that the Department will have to make in the way that it approves buildings. He said that this discussion continues internally, but for now it is clear that more monitoring is needed.
The Chief Planner said there would be closer scrutiny more monitoring during the construction process especially to make sure that the things that have been approved are being executed in accordance with the plans on site. “I think that would go a long way to make us more resilient to these kinds of events in the future,” he pointed out.
Change is supposed to be constant, but the Department head stated that the hurricanes resulted in fresh challenges and brought out additional building issues. “We have been having a number of challenges post hurricanes with persons hastily constructing and building things without consulting, without approval. So we would like to definitely just plead with the general public to not take on a construction project of any sort without at least contacting the Department,” he explained.
“The danger that most people run is when they get caught up in an enforcement process where we have to do official notices. Those things are put on the land register of that property so if you try to do a transaction on your property down the road it is right there to come back to haunt you,” Mr. Adams noted.
Some of the contraventions of the building requirements are being discovered during routine inspections. In other instances it was said that concerned members of the public bring the matter to the Department’s attention.
“We would do inspections on projects that we have approved and in the process of looking for those we also pay attention to any new construction we see and many times that’s when we notice development ongoing that was not approved or even one that was approved but is being done outside of what was approved so we try to be vigilant on those. And then every now and then we hear from the public who may see something that just looks a bit suspicious and they call and enquire and then we follow up.”