Roban: we must streamline planning process
The planning department needs to do more to back “the growth of the country”, the home affairs minister has told the Development Applications Board.
The minutes of the board’s meeting last month said Walter Roban attended to discuss plans to streamline the planning process and improve the public image of the department.
The minutes said: “The minister indicated that it was important for the department to continue in providing guidance to the public to enable their goals to be realised when it comes to development projects, while at the same time protecting the environment.
“The minister further stated that in order to improve the department’s reputation, it was important for rebranding to take place and in doing so, make the planning process less bureaucratic to improve efficiency.”
The record added: “The minister stressed that the public should not feel the need to involve an agent for every type of application.
“To conclude, the minister reiterated the need for the department to operate in a manner that is more conducive to supporting the growth of the country.”
Mr Roban said yesterday the meeting was one of a series of discussions he had organised to discuss government objectives.
He added: “I visited the board as part of my goal to meet with all of my boards under my ministry — I had not met with the planning board yet.
“I wanted to talk to them about an ongoing campaign by the ministry about work to streamline the planning process so it can be more efficient. There is a role the board can play in that.”
He said one policy under development would allow the board to delegate some planning decisions to the director of the department.
Mr Roban added: “We are discussing with the DAB what they can to do make the planning process more efficient and about the goal of the Government to stimulate economic activity by ensuring that projects will contribute to that particular goal.
“We are looking at the development and planning process to contribute to greater economic activity, growth and job creation in the economy.”
Mr Roban said: “The meeting was to let them know the Government’s policy objectives around planning and that they will play a role with some of the proposals on how we can streamline the process.”
Both the Progressive Labour Party and the One Bermuda Alliance governments have in the past called for improvements to planning process to encourage construction projects and job creation.
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