The Town and Country Planning Act, Cap. 240, defines Development as "The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under any land, the making of any material change in the use of any buildings, or other land or the sub-division of land".
The legislation relates to all lands within the territorial limits of Barbados, and would include all coastal and marine development within the territorial limits. (200 nautical miles and territorial sea of 12 nautical miles).
There are two (2) methods by which development can occur legally:
(a) by a specific grant of planning permission from either the Chief Town Planner or the Minister with responsibility for Town Planning; or
(b) through the operation of the Development Order (1972) for "Permitted Development".
Formal permission is a specific grant of approval for a particular development that is issued pursuant to the submission of an application to the Chief Town Planner under Sections 16, 17, 18, 19 and 22 of the Town and Country Planning Act, Cap. 240.
Permitted Development is development needing no planning permission, but has statutory requirement standards such as building line, road reserve, plot coverage, distance from High Water Mark etc. which must be adhered to.
Permitted development is not unrestricted development and there are limitations. It excludes all lands falling within the Scotland District and Zone 1 of the Water Protection Area.
Permitted Development is essentially restricted to building development, and it includes the major classes of development activity ranging from residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and institutional.
The Chief Town Planner in assessing applications is guided by the policies outlined in the Physical Development Plan (PDP). The Town and Country Planning Act Cap. 240 Section 16 (1) requires the Chief Town Planner to have regard to the Development Plan so far as material to the application and to any other material considerations when dealing with a planning application. The plan provides a vision for the future growth and development of the Island by setting out policies to guide relationships among land uses, community facilities and physical infrastructure.
The first Physical Development Plan for Barbados was published in 1970 and came into operation in 1977. The second plan, amended in 1983, came into operation in 1991. The third Physical Development Plan was amended in 2003 and is yet to be formally adopted.