Regional

Former MoBay mayor calls on parish councils to speed up approvals

Former MoBay mayor calls on parish councils to speed up approvals

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, June 05, 2014    

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IRONSHORE, St James — Former Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair, has expressed the need for parish councils to accelerate the approval process for both sub-division and building applications.

"As someone directly involved, it is my view that the process can be quickened. Indeed, there has been some effort, but these amendments and adjustments required to get to a satisfactory position is taking too long," argued Sinclair, who is also an attorney- at- law.

He was speaking last Saturday in Ironshore, St James, at the opening of D'Washington, the sixth townhouse development by North West Development and Construction Limited across the island.

D'Washington, named after CEO of North West Development and Construction Limited, Donovan Washington James and his son Donovan Washington James, Jnr, consists of 20 units.

Amenities at the development, which was completed within 18 months, include a full service gym, swimming pool and internet access in the pool area.

Sinclair, who was expressing concerns that negatively impact "persons doing or getting involved in development," also called for a roll back of the Transfer Tax and Stamp Duty on sales of real estate to pre- 2012 rates.

"The increase made in Transfer Tax and Stamp Duty on sales of real estate to five per cent and four per cent respectively should be reviewed as a means of encouraging this type of activity. The return to pre -2012 percentages should contribute to heightened activity and improved revenues for the State," said Sinclair, who is also the councillor for the Flanker Division in which the D'Washington development falls.

He also articulated the need for more meaningful discussions between developers, local planning authorities and other stakeholders, in a bid to look at development and its impact on the environment, as well as the impact of climate change on development.

Meanwhile, James explained that North West Development and Construction Limited does not measure success by the number of houses sold, but by the satisfaction of each home owner.

"It was our intention to create an environment that was conducive to the development of the mind, the body and the spirit," he expressed.

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