Hanover Municipal Corporation to offer building plans amnesty
In a bid to put an end to buildings being constructed without the requisite approvals, the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) has decided to launch a “building plan amnesty” project to get all builders into compliance.
In a recent interview with The Gleaner, Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels said that the building plans amnesty programme would have started already had it not been for the tardiness of the corporation’s planning department.
“We are having serious challenges as it relates to our planning department. The amnesty was supposed to start from about three to four months ago, and it has not started because the planning officer chose to do otherwise,” said Samuels.
A high percentage of the construction activities currently taking place in Hanover are taking place without the necessary building plans and approvals from the HMC, and the local authority is hell-bent on putting an end to the practice.
Among those in breach are developers constructing hotels.
According to the mayor, apart from the practices being illegal and dangerous, it robs the HMC of funding to carry out its parochial responsibilities.
Samuels said that based on the observation of the corporation’s enforcement team, the issue is much more widespread than was realised. Hence, the amnesty is being announced to urge those in breach to move swiftly to regularise their operations.
“Since we have put the enforcement team in place, we have realised that there are a lot of construction works happening in the parish, where, because of ownership technicalities, they do not have the necessary documents. So we are doing this amnesty to assist them to get the relevant documents, and at the same time, they can do their plans and send them in so that the necessary approvals can take place,” explained Samuels.
Samuels is anticipating that the amnesty will get under way within the next two or three weeks.