CH&PA commences sensitization programs with municipalities
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, January 24, 2018
The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) today commenced what it said is the beginning of a much-needed sensitisation program with municipalities on the rules that govern building regulations.
The first session was held this morning at the Regency Suites in Georgetown. CH&PA said the local authority areas need to be aware of the functions and responsibilities that were delegated to the them in this regard. The outreach was aimed at building a stronger inter-agency relationship with all local authority areas. According to the CH&PA, there is need for clarity and collaboration between the housing authority and municipalities on the issues relating to building laws.
Some of these include unauthorized developers-businesses and large residential buildings that are constructed without guidance and permission by the relevant authority. This is according to CH&PA’s Chief Development Planner Germene Stewart.
“Sometimes it is not within the building regulations for example setback instances a lot of persons complaining, people building too close to the boundary lines, they are putting in sheds, water getting into the light, privacy and those things. Those are the issues.”
These issues affect persons across Guyana. According to Senior Planning Officer Fayola Azore, the CH&PA believes that if it can reach and educate the major players within the local organs, the issues can be nipped in the bud.
“We want to share the information with the Local Authorities to help us to monitor. We are in Georgetown, they are in those outlying regions and we need their assistance, so we can have that collaboration”.
Apart from the actual building of structures, persons also need to consider some other things, that, if not observed could be deemed a contravention. These include persons building at locations that are unsuitable for a particular business and even playing loud music in similar communities.
“Let us take a very highly residential area for example… you establish a furniture making facility, but you have noise, you have dust, you have odor. You did not get a planning permit. If you had applied for that before, you would know that the site is not suitable and you should choose another location,” another official explained.
Asked about its enforcement mechanism, the CH&PA said it will first serve a contravention notice. The relevant persons are then given a 28 day grace period , before they are taken before the court. The actual fine is very minimal, the CH&PA, however, there are plans to increase it.
The CH&PA hopes to take its outreach to the 10 administrative regions to meet with Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDC’s).
By: Alexis Rodney