New devel­op­ment or­ders for Kingston and St An­drew ready

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOCIAL | SOMETHING EXTRA -

THE DRAFT devel­op­ment or­ders for Kingston and St An­drew have been re­viewed by the Chief Par­lia­men­tary Coun­sel (CPC) and steps are be­ing made by the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment and Plan­ning Agency (NEPA) to get feed­back from the pub­lic be­fore com­plet­ing the process.

Peter Knight, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of NEPA, told The Gleaner that his agency is now work­ing to com­plete a devel­op­ment or­der for Port­more, St Cather­ine.

In a fol­low-up per­for­mance au­dit of NEPA, which was tabled in Par­lia­ment last week, Au­di­tor Gen­eral Pamela Mon­roe Ellis in­di­cated that the agency had made con­sid­er­able strides in pre­par­ing new devel­op­ment, or­ders for a num­ber of parishes.

FIRST PER­FOR­MANCE AU­DIT

In ad­di­tion to Kingston and St An­drew, the devel­op­ment or­der for St El­iz­a­beth was re­turned to NEPA in Au­gust this year from the chief par­lia­men­tary coun­sel. When the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s De­part­ment con­ducted its first per­for­mance au­dit of NEPA in 2010, the over­sight body com­plained that some devel­op­ment or­ders needed to in­form plan­ning de­ci­sions were 30 years old. As part of its man­date, NEPA is re­quired to pre­pare devel­op­ment or­ders for land use in all parishes. The or­ders are in­tended to fa­cil­i­tate eco­nomic, en­vi­ron­men­tal, cul­tural, phys­i­cal and so­cial growth and devel­op­ment.

“We are now work­ing with the print­ing of­fice to pub­lish the no­tice in the news­pa­pers – we have to pub­lish them for a pe­riod to give landown­ers and lawyers a chance to look at how their lands are be­ing clas­si­fied and the uses to which they are put,” said Knight, in re­la­tion to the three lat­est or­ders com­pleted by NEPA.

SIG­NIF­I­CANT IM­PROVE­MENT

“Once we get those com­ments, we would col­late it and see if they are ac­cept­able. If they are not, we would go back to the Town and Coun­try Plan­ning Author­ity for rat­i­fi­ca­tion, then go back to the CPC and then we pub­lish them as con­firmed or­ders,” Knight added. Devel­op­ment or­ders for Manch­ester, Ne­gril and Green Is­land in Hanover, Port­land and Trelawny were con­firmed by the port­fo­lio min­is­ter in April and May 2015.

NEPA in­di­cated that a draft devel­op­ment or­der for Port­more would be com­pleted by July 2017. At the same time, the per­for­mance au­dit showed sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the pub­lic body’s re­sponse to en­vi­ron­men­tal threats re­ported by mem­bers of the pub­lic. The au­di­tor gen­eral re­ported that NEPA in­ves­ti­gated 90 per cent of com­plaints dur­ing the pe­riod April 2010 to March 2015. This com­pares with 42 per cent re­ported in a pre­vi­ous au­dit of the agency by the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s De­part­ment. NEPA has also stepped up its en­force­ment ac­tiv­i­ties over the pe­riod un­der re­view. En­force­ment ac­tiv­i­ties for the pe­riod April 2010 to March 2015 to­talled 3,604. This com­pares with 922 for the pre­vi­ous pe­riod of assess­ment.

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