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KSAC revs up building plan approval process

Friday, May 23, 2014    

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THE Building and Town Planning Committee of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has revved up its building plans approval process, giving the company room to reduce its monthly meetings.

Vice-Chairman Patrick Roberts said that the committee now only needs to meet only once per month instead of the twice-monthly meetings that had been the practice. Roberts told a committee meeting Wednesday that he will be making a recommendation to Mayor Angela Brown-Burke.

According to him, the backlog of 1,000 building plans before the committee in January, some dating to as far back as the year 2000, had been cleared up.

"We now have fewer than 40 plans in-house to approve," he said.

He said that the building plan applications approved from January to Wednesday, exceeded J$20 billion in investment. The plans, he said, included two hotels, offices, multi-family homes and extensions.

He told the Jamaica Observer later that the objective of the committee was to reduce the approval time for plans that needed to be processed by external agencies from 90 days to 70 days and plans that are handled solely by the KSAC to fewer than 30 days.

In February 2013, major players in the local construction industry said that the protracted time it took to get approvals from the KSAC and other municipal authorities islandwide was endangering the jobs of more than 100,000 persons employed to the sector.

At the meeting on Wednesday, six building applications dating back to 2008 were refused. The committee said that they needed more information in order to process the applications. However, despite several efforts to contact the applicants by telephone and other means they had not responded. The applicants could apply again, Roberts said.

In April 2014, the building applications submitted to the committee for approval totalled 96. The breakdown showed that of the total applications, 40 were single family, five multi-family, three commercial, one institutional, one industrial, one infrastructural, and one resort. There were also 40 billboard applications and five total planning applications. The number of plans approved was 18, three required agency response, and five were awaiting amendments. Thirty-two were still to be processed and 38 were ready for the next meeting, the breakdown showed.

— Claudienne Edwards

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