After the acceptance of the application at the front desk, the processing of the application takes it through various stages before a decision can be issued. These include the Registry, Planning Studio, Senior Planning Assistant, Planning Assistant, Assistant Town Planner/Town Planner, Senior Town Planner and the Chief Town Planner.
During the processing, the Chief Town Planner is required to make consultations. Consultation can be either mandatory or optional. The legal basis for consultation is contained in the Town and Country Planning Development Order, 1972 section 8(1) and Part 111 2(2).
Stage 1: Front Desk Operation
On submission of the application at the front desk, it is checked to ensure that all the requirements for submission, as prescribed by the Chief Town Planner pursuant to section 17(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act, have been met. The officer must ensure that:
- the detailing of the plans is correct;
- the required copies of plans are submitted;
- the application form is completed correctly;
- the application form is signed.
Having met all the requirements, the application is accepted. The information is entered into the computer system, where a reference number, along with the date of the submission, are assigned. The Island is divided into five (5) geographical areas for the management and administration of the development and enforcement functions and all related matters, including applications for permission to develop land, are assigned accordingly. Hence, each reference number will always end with the letter A, B, C, D or E.
Stage 2: Registry
After the operation at the front desk is completed, the application then goes to the Inner Registry where the information is recorded in the Statutory Register and the application jacketed. It is then sent to the Planning Studio where it is plotted.
Stage 3: Planning Studio
In the Planning Studio the application is entered into the Geographical Information System (GIS). Applications submitted within the past five years for development at or near that location are noted on the file for reference. The file is returned to the Inner Registry where the references are attached to the file and certain consultations dispatched. From there, the file goes to the Senior Planning Assistant with responsibility for the respective geographical area, where it is assigned to a Planning Assistant.
Flow Chart of Application Process
Stage 4: Planning Assistant
The Planning Assistant will visit the site and prepare a report. Included in the report is a description of the site conditions; an assessment of the site, floor and elevation plans to ascertain whether the plans meet the required building line, side distances and plot coverage. The report would indicate whether the site is located within any of the restrictive policy areas such as Zone 1 of the Water Protection Area, Harrison’s Cave Zone of Special Environmental Control, Airport Restriction Zone or the Integrated Rural Development Project.
The Planning Assistant also refers copies of the application to the consulting agencies and requests additional information, after consultation with the Senior Planning Assistant and/or the Assistant Town Planner / Town Planner.
Stage 5: Senior Planning Assistant
After the initial reporting by the Planning Assistant, the file is forwarded to the Senior Planning Assistant (SPA) for further assessment. At this stage, the application is further scrutinised for accuracy and thoroughness of the reporting and processing and depending its nature, is either finalised by the SPA or referred to the Town Planner/Assistant Town Planner with responsibility for the respective geographical area for further assessment.