Let’s be proactive in addressing building approval delays

Friday, March 17, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I wish to point out that a requirement for development of buildings to be occupied for any activity is that thy are safe. I say this in response to many who suggest that the building approval process is tantamount to red tape and a hindrance to economic progress.

The State (parish council/municipal corporations) is responsible for the enforcement of standards for buildings necessary for the safety of the public. Architects design buildings with the aim of ensuring that buildings do not endanger the occupants or the public. The parish council is responsible for the review of proposals submitted by architects, and to review them they need a current set of guidelines (Building Act) and the knowledge of how to apply the regulations relating to the proposal submitted.

The problem of building approval delays usually is caused by either incomplete documents submitted to the parish council for review, unqualified personnel reviewing the documents at the parish council, or poor administrative systems that cannot track the progress of documents that are submitted and communicate effectively internally or externally.

So I suggest that before the review of plans for buildings comes up for elimination in the government sector, they look to fix the causes of the problem. If dust is causing you to get a cold, the solution is not to buy new and improved dust masks, it is to eliminate the cause of the dust.

Let us be proactive in addressing the problem of delays in building approvals, hire registered and competent professionals to review building plans, and manage the communication in the agencies. We also need to finalise the passage of the Building Act, employ a government town planner to oversee the development of a national spatial plan and, finally, get politicians out of the approval process, because too often they contribute to the hold up and derailment of many useful and productive plans for no good reason.

Hugh M Dunbar

New York, USA





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