Decision-making occurs at various levels in the system and in the case of the TCDPO is authorised through delegated authority from the Chief Town Planner. Decisions are made at the level of the Senior Planning Assistant, Assistant Town Planner/Town Planner, Senior Town Planner, Chief Town Planner and the Minister with responsibility for Town Planning.
One of the fundamental instruments used to assist in the decision making process is the Physical Development Plan. This Plan outlines the broad land use policies for the Island and where development should occur.
Another tool used in the assessment of planning applications is planning standards. These include building line and road reserve, side and rear distances from the boundary and parking. Density standards such as plot coverage, plot ratio and beds per acre are also used.
Material considerations are also used in the assessment. While there is no particular operational definition, it is widely accepted that ‘any consideration which relates to the use and development of land is capable of being a material consideration’. Examples of material considerations include:
(a) Development plans in the course of preparation;
(b) Ministerial Policies;
(c) Existing Development Rights;
(d) Retention of existing use;
(e) Fear of setting a precedent;
(f) Availability of alternative sites;
(g) Alternative powers of control;
(h) Availability of services;
(i) Prematurity of development relative to development patterns;
(j) Potential for unacceptable adverse impact on the natural or man made heritage of Barbados;
(k) Potential for undue financial or economic impact on the Government of Barbados;
(l) Potential for undue impact on existing commercial operations;
(m) Potential for nuisance effects;
(n) Traffic flow;
(o) Public amenities to be provided by the developer.
(p) Availability of infrastructure;
(q) Safeguarding of land required for road - widening
1. Senior Planning Assistant
The Senior Planning Assistant can approve houses on approved residential subdivisions provided the building conforms to the planning regulations.
2. Assistant Town Planner/Town Planner
The Assistant Town Planner (ATP)/Town Planner (TP) has responsibility for the management of the geographical areas. At this level, permission can be granted for the following types of development except for those applications, which have been or are the subject of a request for a review of a decision:
(a) Erection, alteration, extension or retention of a house where the development is in accordance with the requirements of any order made under the Town and Country Planning Act, Cap. 240 and any Development Plan.
(b) Vehicular accesses, for residential property, to a classified road where the Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Public Works and Transport approves the access.
(c) Erection, alteration, extension or retention of a house where the Minister has approved the relaxation of the building line.
(d) Apartment buildings and town houses up to twenty (20) units where the development is in accordance with Town and Country Development Planning Office regulations.
(e) Residential subdivisions.
(f) Advertising signs i.e. (attached, detached, projecting) which conform with Town and Country Development Planning Office (TCDPO) guidelines with respect to height, length and width, as set out by the Control of Advertising Signs guideline dated June 1986.
(g) Satellite Dishes which conform to site planning standards.
(h) Extension to any previously approved Commercial Development where the development is in accordance with Town and Country Development Planning Office regulations.
(i) Industrial development within approved Subdivisions.
3. Senior Town Planner
The Senior Town Planner, after consultation with the Chief Town Planner on certain matters, can make the final decision on all applications, except those to subdivide or materially change the use of agriculture land of over two (2) acres and beach front properties.
4. Chief Town Planner
The Chief Town Planner can make the final decision on all applications, except those to subdivide or materially change the use of agriculture land of over two (2) acres and beach front properties.
Pursuant to Section 18 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act, the Minister currently makes decisions on all applications made for planning permission to subdivide or materially change the use of agricultural land of over two (2) acres, all applications for permission in respect of beach front properties as well as on appeals against the decision of the Chief Town Planner.