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Development Control and Planning Act (No. 14 of 2000)
This Act makes provisions for the orderly and progressive development of land in both urban and rural areas and for the protection of the environment and improvement of the amenities thereof and provides for the grant of permission to develop land and for other powers of control over the use of land in Saint Kitts.
Active transparency (Sections 17 and 82)
When a development plan for a specified part of Saint Christopher has been approved by the Cabinet, or a Saint Christopher National Physical Development Plan has been approved by the National Assembly, as the case may be, a copy of the plan shall be deposited at the Registry of Titles and Deeds, and at public libraries, police stations, and post offices in Saint Christopher, and the substance of the plan shall be publicised in the area or areas to which it applies, in such manner as the Board may direct. Notice of the approval by the Cabinet of a development plan for a specified part of Saint Christopher or the approval by the National Assembly of a Saint Christopher National Physical Development Plan, as the case may be, shall be published in the Gazette and the plan shall come into effect on the date of such publication. Copies of a plan shall be available for inspection and purchase at all reasonable times at the offices of the Board, at such price as may be prescribed.
The Chief Physical Planner shall maintain a register of all planning decisions. Any person who so requests shall be provided by the Chief Physical Planner with a copy of any entry in the register upon payment of the prescribed fee. It shall include an index which shall be in the form of a map and both the register and the index may be kept in an electronic data storage and retrieval system whether by use of a computer or otherwise.
Participation in environmental matters (Section 4(g))
The Act has as one of its objects the facilitation process whereby people participate in the development and planning of their communities so far as it is compatible with the public interest.
Participation in activities and projects / Mining (Sections 25, 27 and 38)
With respect to applications for certain classes of development which the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, designate as likely to derogate from the amenities of the public or of adjacent or nearby properties, the Chief Physical Planner may require the applicant to (a) affix a notice in a secure manner and in a prominent position on the land to which the application relates notifying passers-by that an application to develop land has been submitted to the Board and giving details of the application; and (b) invite comments and representations on the application to be submitted to the Authority in writing within twenty-eight days of the publication or provision of the details of the application or the affixing of the notice on the land, as the case may be. This shall apply to certain developments such as environmental impact assessments and developments in an environmental protection area as well as for permissions to carry out mining operations or mineral processing.
The Board shall take into account any report, representation or comment submitted or made to it under this section. It shall not determine an application for development permission until all comments and representations received within the period specified have been considered.
The Chief Physical Planner may consult in writing any public officer or other person who appears to him or her to be able to provide information relevant to an application for development permission to enable the Chief Physical Planner to advise the Minister or the Board, as appropriate, with regard to the application and shall consult any organisation as may be prescribed.
If it appears to the Board that an application is inconsistent in some material respect with an approved development plan applicable to the area in which the development is proposed, but nevertheless it considers that permission should be granted, the Board shall publish a notice in the Gazette and at least one newspaper circulating in Saint Christopher notifying the public that an application which departs from an approved development plan has been received; invite comments and representations on any such application to be submitted to the Board either orally at the public inquiry or in writing within a notice; and take into account any report, representation or comment submitted to it under this section, including the findings of the public inquiry held. In determining an application referred to him or her under this section, the Minister may consult with any body or person he or she sees fit.
Participation in plans, programmes and policies (Sections 6, 10, 14, 15 and 16 and First Schedule)
Development and Planning Board: three of its members shall be persons not in the public service who shall be appointed from among persons who have knowledge and experience in commerce and industry, economic and financial matters or any other area of public interest that the Minister considers relevant to physical planning. The Board shall institute, complete, maintain and keep under review a study of matters pertinent to planning the use and development of the land of Saint Christopher and prepare or cause to be prepared development plans. It shall also be responsible for the implementation of the policies framed by the Minister.
Development plans: A proposal for the preparation of a development plan shall include proposals for obtaining representations from persons likely to be affected by or likely to wish to submit representations and views on the proposed plan during the course of its preparation. When the Board has prepared a draft development plan it shall deposit a copy at the offices of the Board and at such other place or places as the Board considers to be most effective for bringing it to the notice of persons residing, working or owning property in the area to which the proposals in the draft development plan relate, or who are likely to be affected by the proposals in the draft development plan. The Board shall give notice in the Gazette and in at least one newspaper circulating in Saint Christopher of the depositing of a draft development plan, and of the places where it may be examined, and shall give such other publicity to and written or oral explanation of the draft development plan as, in its opinion, is best calculated to inform all persons affected or likely to be affected by the proposals in the draft development plan, and all persons of the right to make representations with regard to the proposals in the draft development plan. Any person may, within eight weeks of the publication in the Gazette of the notice make either oral or written representations on the draft development plan to the Board. The Board shall consider the draft development plan and the representations and comments made. The Minister may require further consultations before adopting the draft plan. Such provisions apply to any modification.
Environmental Protection Areas: The Board may, and if so directed by the Minister shall, cause a survey to be made of the whole or any part of Saint Christopher with a view to determining whether any area ought to be designated an environmental protection area in a development plan. The Board shall take such steps as in its opinion will ensure that adequate publicity is given to its proposals in the area to which the proposals relate; provide persons living and working in the area and any other persons interested in the area with an opportunity of making representations and comments on the proposals; and take account of the representations and comments received on the proposals. In determining whether it is desirable to designate any area as an environmental protection area in a development plan, the Board and the Minister shall have regard to the survey and any representations or comments submitted by any person, body or authority on the proposals.
During the preparation of a development plan and before finally determining its content for submission to the Minister, the Board shall take such steps as, in its opinion, will ensure that adequate publicity is given in the area to which the plan relates to the matters which it proposes to include in the plan; that persons who may be expected to desire an opportunity of making representations to the Board with respect to those matters are made aware that they are entitled to an opportunity of doing so; and that such persons are given an adequate opportunity of making such representations. The Board shall consider any representations made to it within the prescribed period.
Right to appeal (Sections 75 and 78)
Any applicant who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Board, or an owner or occupier of land that is the subject of the decision or other person whose interest in that land may be affected by a decision of the Board may appeal to the Appeals Tribunal against that decision. The appeal may be dealt with by written representations or by public examination. In case of public examination, it shall publish a notice in the Gazette and in at least one newspaper circulating in Saint Christopher announcing the public examination and the time and place at which it will be held.
An appeal shall lie to the High Court from a decision of the Appeals Tribunal on a point of law.