The Town and Country Development Planning Office (TCDPO) was established in late 1958 and was originally located at Bay Street on the Government Headquarters compound. In the early years, the department was concerned mainly with development control and enforcement matters and over the period 1958 to the early 1980’s technical officers undertook both development control and enforcement duties. As development pressures increased, the mandate of the department became both specialised and diverse and the planning system evolved to the point where a specialist approach was required. In 1984, a separate enforcement section was established at Block C, Garrison and the research arm of the department was expanded and transferred to Block C, Garrison; a direct response to the specialised and diverse nature of our mandate.
During 1986, the main office moved from Bay Street to Block B, Garrison, where we occupied the top floor of the building.
The ground floor was occupied by the Land Registry (now relocated to Chelsea Road) and the Caribbean Examinations Council. The Enforcement and Research sections remained at Block C for a short period, and then joined the rest of the Office at Block B.
In November 2002, the entire office moved to a more comfortable environment at Block C. The department now occupies the entire two-storey building, and this has afforded among other things, a more spacious front desk area, waiting area, Planning Studio, as well as an increased storage area for the completed files. Staff and visitors to the TCDPO now enjoy an air-conditioned environment and with the installation of a ramp and an elevator, there is adequate access for the disabled.
Prior to the establishment of the TCDPO, the limited planning issues then under consideration formed part of the remit of the General Board of Health. This Board operated from the 1920's until 1958, and concentrated, inter alia, on the subdivision of land and the provision of adequate sites and services. To this day, development relating to original General Board of Health subdivisions e.g. in Pine Hill and Carrington Village are processed by the TCDPO. This early attempt at planning, though limited in scope, has stood the test of time and provided a foundation on which the Barbadian physical planning system could be established.