The Planning and Settlement Development Department operates under the guidance of the Town and Country Planning Act. This legislation in guiding the work of the department allows for this department to:
- Facilitate and promote development to ensure that it is at all times carried out in the best interest of the public.
- Ensure the orderly and progressive development of land within the country in order to improve and maintain living standards of all citizens.
- Monitor and regulate land use activities to ensure that development is carried out in accordance with the regulations and standards of the Central Housing and Planning Authority.
The Department discharges its functions through the following lines of operation:
- Settlement Development Planning
- Development Facilitation and Compliance
- Research and Policy Analysis
With regards to its function of settlement development planning, the Department is responsible for preparing development plans/ strategies/ standards, urban designs, zoning guidelines, etc. To date the Department has completed development plans / strategies for the following urban areas:
- Georgetown City
In the preparation of the Development Plans an “Integrated Development Approach” was adopted, which seeks to make the planning process all-inclusive, participatory, multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary. This approach is therefore sensitive to the needs and priorities of all segments of the community.
To ensure the implementation of these Urban Development Plans, implementable activities and initiatives are identified and considered at the project development level.
Plan implementation therefore will be done on a phased basis as the policies adumbrated in the plan are translated into implementable project activities/ initiatives, which can give rise to tangible or qualitative changes in the social, economic or physical living condition of citizens or specific target groups.
Embedded in proposed policies of these urban development plans are investment opportunities for private developers since to realize the goal and objectives of the plans, there is need for public/ private in the implementation of plan activities at the project level.
The Greater Georgetown Development Plan is considered to be one of the major projects of the Department in recent years. With uncontrolled urban growth compounded by outdated zoning regulations, the GGDP primary focus is returning the Garden City to all its splendor and glory and facilitating an encouraging environment for businesses. The GGDP is therefore advocating the following proposals among others for the revitalization of Georgetown:
- A World Heritage City
- Tree lined avenues
- Beautiful lush gardens
- Congregation areas
- Congestion free city streets
- Public Parking
- On site parking
- Broad walks along Demerara River Front
- Recreation Area with landscaping, seating and lighting with security etc...along the seawall
- Strategically placed and landscaped traffic round-abouts
How can we achieve this?
- Public-Private Partnerships
- Effective and coordinated planning
- Education and public awareness campaigns
- Public partnership at all levels
- Respect for the law
- Inculcating good citizenship
Another critical function of the Department is its development facilitation and compliance function, where the Department has the responsibility of:
- Monitoring and managing the nature and intensity of development which takes place on any area of land.
- Inspecting and reporting to the Central Housing and Planning Authority Board on all building, land use and land subdivision applications or other proposals for development.
- Ensuring that development complies with provisions contained in development plans, zoning plans, planning policy guidelines, etc.
Considering these responsibilities of the Planning and Settlement Development Department, it means therefore that prior to any development taking place planning permission is required. The planning permission process and requirements can be found in the Developer’s Manual. The Developer’s Manual has been prepared to assist individuals, planning professionals and developers wishing to apply for planning permission. It is intended that this manual should convey information to the public on the procedures involved in planning permit requirements for all types of development and also the process of evaluating and deciding on development applications.