Rabain On Delay With Planning Appointments

January 31, 2013

The six weeks that the Development Applications Board [DAB] has not met has created a delay in approving planning projects which has a domino effect, Shadow Minister of Environment & Planning Senator Diallo Rabain said.

Senator Rabain said, “We are now just about to enter the second month of the year 2013 and some 6 weeks after Premier Cannonier’s Cabinet was sworn in. February 1st will mark the 6th week the Development Applications Board has not met. Each week they do not meet, is another week’s worth of planning projects that go unapproved.

“While this board may not seem that high up the priority list for the new Minister, let’s examine the domino effect it does have. Another week in which potential job creating projects are not started

“Another week a land owner accrues interest payments on a mortgage or loan without starting the process of realising some return on their investment. Another week an architectural agent doesn’t have approval for a submittal and cannot collect any professional fees

“Another week the Department of Planning falls behind in getting planning approvals,” continued Senator Rabain.

“For those who do not fully understand the Planning Approval Process allow me to explain. Once a project has been submitted and vetted by the Department of Planning, it is presented to the Development Applications Board for approval.

“This Board is made up of appointees selected at the pleasure of the Minister. Yes, the final say on your Planning project is by a Board made up of people who may or may not have any architectural or environmental background after it has been fully vetted by the paid professionals at the Department of Planning.

“This Board meets weekly to approve planning applications and without it, no planning project submitted to planning can progress past the planning application stage,” continued Senator Rabain.

“Once the Board has been finally appointed it will take about 2 weeks to get them up to speed on the various planning acts. This means that the soonest we may start to see planning applications being approved is February 15, provided the Board is Gazetted on February 1. A full 6 weeks into the 2013 and 8 weeks after the new cabinet were sworn in.

“For a party that canvassed on improving government policies, creating jobs and lessening the burden on the people of Bermuda, here is a clear example of them missing the mark on all three of these statements. It would seem that the part-time Minister of Environment and Planning does not see the appointing of this Board as a priority.

“Perhaps if he asked the land owner, the contractor, construction workers or the Architectural professionals if this should be a priority, he may view this differently and move with a bit more urgency.

“As the OBA has promoted that they are an all-inclusive party and regardless of your political affiliation they just want the best for the job, why not re-appoint the existing Board en-bloc?

“They have been in place for 2 plus years and could be up and running virtually immediately. I would hope that the delay does not have anything to do with trying to find enough OBA supporters to reward,” concluded Senator Rabain.

In response, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment and Planning said: “The DAB will formally begin its work once the names of the members being have been published in the Official Gazette. The Ministry expects that the DAB will be Gazetted shortly.”

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (32)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Serious though says:

    What’s the PS of this ministry doing?

    • M3ke says:

      Planning is the worst department in government. They take an average 8-12 months to approve plans even for small developments like 1 bedroom apartments.

      Somebody at the top of that department should have been fired a long time ago.

      • Waiting and watching says:

        The top man def needs to go! He is an expat hired 6 years ago by a PLP govt! He is absolutely useless and only stays there because he is a puppet. Pls ensure he goes this year OBA! The Dept of Planning staff WILL be watching closely………..

  2. George says:

    You’re comments are a little hypocritical don’t you think Diallo, considering the PLP when in power used the council/board appointments by their own Ministers to their advantage and made no efforts to change this system! Don’t keep insulting our intelligent as an electorate if you want to try and regain your integrity and our support as a party!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      The PLP must think we are full stupid. The Planning Dep has been notorious for being slow to process even the most basic of plans for decades. The PLP had 14 years to fix it. What did they do? Made it worse.

      Rabain needs to crawl back under his rock.

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      The only planning items the previous govt cared about were SDO’s and special insider deals for government Ministers, followed by Ministerial resignation and planning reversals.

  3. Winnie Dread says:

    Points well taken Sen.Rabain however the cynical delivery at the end well that’s another story. You are correct that the process needs to be expidited for all the reasons you outlined plus more, but please do your WHOLE job in a professional manner and not just parts of it. You will score more points if you make valid and critical points like you did, however I think Bermuda is a bit tired of the cynicism. Lets move this country forward.

  4. ella says:

    Thank you George & Triangle Drifter. I could not have put it any better.

  5. Yes Sa..... says:

    I fully cuncur with the Senator!! I work in the construction industry AND am a supporter of the OBA, and this wait in appointing a Board is crazy! I fully understand that you need to give the new Government time to make a difference but in the interest of continuity, why don’t they retain the existing Board and do their vetting in the interium. It was nothing wrong with the existing Board………………
    This waiting is hurting already suffering businesses and it seems that its for no good reason at all!!
    And for those above comments, it has nothing to do with the PLP!! The exisiting Board was very bi-partisan if I may say so myself. So, lets get on with it…….PLEASE!

    • Shadow Minister Is Doing His Job says:

      I’m an OBA supporter. but the Shadow Minister is doing his job by pointing this out. OBA supporters cant write everything the PLP say as irrelevant or hypocritical. That doesnt matter anymore. We need to move forward collectively if Bermuda is to emerge from the muck of the past. OBA needs to be accountable too.

      • Free Thinker says:

        Some of us voted OBA to effect change, but that’s clearly not the concern of others who voted for them. Some would have voted for a broom, as long as it’s not the PLP.

  6. .am says:

    If the PLP was so efficient ..why was there anything outstanding when they were voted out?

    • Single Mom says:

      I voted OBA too and part of the late gazzetting of the boards is because the Minister of this portfolio is working part time. His first 3 weeks after been sworn in he was on vacation and tying up loose ends at his highly paid insurance job. Not to thrilled with these part time ministers OBA!

  7. Um Um Like says:

    Rabain, put numbers to your statement. How many people are building right now? How many people are waiting for planning to approve their plans? How many people are waiting to build condos, offices, or houses?

    • sonoso says:

      id make a sure bet that he has no idea, and is probably just talking to hear himself talk?

  8. Sandgrownan says:

    Boo hoo Rabain..don’t care what you think

  9. WTF says:

    Let’s see, since 2008 the board was appointed and then notified in the gazette respectively Jan 23 (’08) (after the general election but same government), Jan 9 (’09), Jan 20 (’10), Jan 7 (’11), and Jan 6 (’12)

    Looks like the PLP had it under control appointing all their boards before February. However, since 2008 the same 7 people have sat on the board out of the 11 or so to be chosen, sometimes 10 sometimes 12. Also, 2 out of the 11 are representatives from the Corporation of Hamilton or St. George’s, so effectively 7 out of the 9 board members haven’t changed in the last 5 years, and the same 8 out of the 9 in the last 4 years. Perhaps it does take a few extra weeks to select members of the board if you are not choosing the same members year after year.

  10. Poetic Justice says:

    Seems he also forgot how the PLP purged the civil service heads and installed their own crony’s who were more supportive of their wishes . Anyone remember how Mr Dane was released from TCD?

    The PLP are behaving like a petulant child who refuses to behave, they seem to complain about every single thing that the OBA raises. Case and point the tourism minister Sean Crockwell’s trip to Bahamas; they didn’t say that the trip had been planned before the OBA came to power.

    The issue with consultants is another cry baby moment. The OBA never said they would not use consultants they just don’t need to have excess like we saw with the PLP, particularly when you consider the PLP chose to ignore most of the decisions these highly paid consultants offered and we all know the out come to that dont we!! Truth be told we would have done better to keep the consultants and fire the PLP MPs at least we would have had a saving on their pay!!!

    Well I guess you cant expect much from a bunch of sore losers they are back to what they were best at hopefully they will stay there for another thirty years!!

  11. Verbal Kint says:

    While we are on the subject of planning, etc.; Who owns Spice Hill Farm and why did Mr. Bean grant that planning appeal?

  12. Cookie says:

    Though I agree that they need to get on with their job, and stop delaying meetings, the PLP needs to go back to sleep. It seems their awake now. I guess it took them loosing an election to wake up. The most I can hope is that Bermudians do not allow the new government to ever fall into bad habits the way we did with the PLP. I believe in questioning and pressuring the government but it should be the people questioning, not the opposition party hoping for them to fail.

  13. reader says:

    “Another week an architectural agent doesn’t have approval for a submittal and cannot collect any professional fees.”

    Like Compu-CAD?

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      Don’t he work for that company Compu-CAD? Must be waiting on checks to come in and the planning process is hurting his bottom line. All about me me meeeee!!!

  14. Verbal Kint says:

    I am not saying this to down anybody, but just to foster debate, and help Government be more effective. The PLP is in danger of becoming the little boy who cried wolf. They are condemning every decision made by a Government which hasn’t even given a throne speech yet. They need to pick their battles, or they run the risk of ruining whatever remaining credibility they have as the opposition.

  15. Responsible dog owner says:

    “A full 6 weeks into the 2013″ – According to my calendar, we are only in the fifth week of 2013. Is Mr. Rabain using his own special version?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Poor guy cannot even understand a calender.

      • Union Member says:

        Not the calendar folks, 6 weeks since the Cabinet has been sworn. Let’s understand the details before throwing stones. What’s even more interesting to me is how this 100 days of office will pan out because the part time ministers have yet to meet with all of their departments!

  16. Bermudican says:

    Boot the Bureaucrats along with the old MP’s that’s the quickest way to get things done. find out the foot draggers and send them home on the bus.

  17. Second says:

    Move on Mr Rabain or get out of the way. please!!