Ascension : PRESS RELEASE - From HoD Legal Lands and Planning
Submitted by The Islander (Ascension Island Government) 04.12.2008 (Article Archived on 18.12.2008)
The new Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2008 will come into effect on 1st December.
Dated 27th Nov. 2008.
The new Land Planning and Development Control Ordinance 2008 will come into effect on 1st December. It was given extensive publicity before it was adopted earlier in the year and it will introduce significant changes and new powers to improve the planning service and achieve higher standards of development on the island.
At the same time the Department has been reviewing its procedures for the same purposes: to achieve better co-ordinated development including the provision of services – water and sewerage; better relationship of one dwelling to another; better integration of buildings in the landscape and its natural features; the creation of safe and convenient access; and efficient use of land suitable for development.
The Government’s Land Disposal Policy is not changing but the procedures are. From 1st December, the outcome of applications to lease or purchase plots for development from the Crown will become dependent upon the granting of development permission. In addition, land owners and or intending purchasers of land wishing to subdivide their land for development will be (are) advised that they should also seek development permission before proceeding with a lease or transfer of their land. Perspective developers should be aware that subdivision of privately owned land will not guarantee them development permission. Applications for lease or purchase of Crown will be treated as expressions of interest in the land and will not be processed unless and until development permission has first been applied for and granted. Applicants will therefore need to make a formal development application which will be decided by the Land Planning and Development Control Board (which replaces the Agency under the new Ordinance) and only then will the lease or sale be agreed. If development permission is refused by the Board there is the right of appeal to the Appeals Tribunal (which replaces the Appeals Board under the new Ordinance) and some types of applications will be decided, as now, by the Governor in Council. Either way, the same will apply: lease or sale will be agreed only once development permission has been granted.
The new system will permit more general consideration of areas for development, including essential services, instead of the piece-meal approach that follows inevitably from prior lease or sale or subdivision of individual plots. In the short term this may result in some applications for plots being delayed but in the long term it will speed up the system, give much greater certainty and, most importantly of all, achieve the good standards of development that our island deserves.
Head of Department
Legal, Lands and Planning