The Planning and Development Department (PDD) has the responsibility for the orderly and progressive development of Barbados. In an effort to meet this challenge and to ensure that development is sustainable, the PDD uses the Physical Development Plan as a broad administrative policy tool to chart settlement, growth patterns and the allocation of land to various uses. However, this document is not the sole determinant of the decision making process.
The Director is also required by statute to consult with various agencies of government in an effort to ensure that the best possible information is obtained at all times to enhance the decision making process. This multi-disciplinary approach to the planning process embraces the dynamism which is required to make the best informed and rational decision. Land use planning in a small island developing state is challenging. In Barbados, the challenge becomes greater when the density of the population is factored into the equation.
The PDD was established in late 1958 and is presently located at Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.
The office was originally located at Bay Street, on the Government Headquarters compound. At that time, the department was concerned mainly with development control and enforcement matters. As opposed to the present modus operandi, where the technical staff is assigned to either development control or enforcement, during 1958 – 1984 each technical officer performed both development control and enforcement duties. During the mid 1980’s, separate enforcement and research sections were established and at this time the mandate of the office became both specialized and diverse.
During the late 1980’s the office moved from Bay Street to occupy the top floor of Block B which is across the road. In November 2002 the office relocated 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.
Prior to the establishment of the PDD, the limited planning issues which were considered formed part of the remit of the 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. 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.
PDD has become very progressive and is providing Barbados with one of the most comprehensive, efficient, balanced and sustainable physical planning systems in the Caribbean region.