The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) today commenced what it said is the beginning of a much-needed sensitisation program with municipalities on the rules that govern building regulations.
According to DPI, the first session was held this morning at the Regency Suites in Georgetown. CH&PA said the local authority areas need to be aware of the functions and responsibilities that were delegated to the them in this regard.
The outreach was aimed at building a stronger inter-agency relationship with all local authority areas. According to the CH&PA, there is need for clarity and collaboration between the housing authority and municipalities on the issues relating to building laws.
Some of these include unauthorized developers-businesses and large residential buildings that are constructed without guidance and permission by the relevant authority.
CH&PA’s Chief Development Planner Germene Stewart said: “Sometimes it is not within the building regulations for example setback instances; a lot of persons complaining, people building too close to the boundary lines, they are putting in sheds, water getting into the light, privacy and those things. Those are the issues.”
These issues affect persons across Guyana. According to Senior Planning Officer Fayola Azore, the CH&PA believes that if it can reach and educate the major players within the local organs, the issues can be nipped in the bud.
Apart from the actual building of structures, persons also need to consider some other things, that, if not observed could be deemed a contravention. These include persons building at locations that are unsuitable for a particular business and even playing loud music in similar communities.
The CH&PA said it will first serve a contravention notice. The relevant persons are then given a 28 day grace period , before they are taken before the court. The actual fine is very minimal, the CH&PA, however, there are plans to increase it.
The CH&PA hopes to take its outreach to the 10 administrative regions to meet with Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDC’s), DPI said.