N Touch
Sunday 23 September 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Too much red tape to construct house

THE EDITOR: It is 2018 and the economy is bad. The only hope is for the private sector to stimulate the economy. While many people are looking at the construction sector, the red tape involved in constructing a house is doing all it can to turn people off.

Why must a subdivision plan or house plan go to public health in 2018? This practice was stopped in the 90s, only to be restarted by some backward thinking CEO of a regional corporation.

Up to this day I cannot figure out why plans need to go to county medical officers of health when these same plans have to go to the building inspector department and then a building committee.

I have seen building plans delayed years for no apparent reason. I have seen officers not visiting sites because they can’t read a location sketch. Mind you, Town and Country and local health use the same sketches and would find the sites.

Don’t tell me my house doesn’t have ventilation. It’s 2018, my entire house is air-conditioned. Public health is guided by a 1914 act. That’s more than 100 years. How is that relevant? Imagine the Planning Minister approved my lot for 4,900 square feet and health officers tell me they can’t approve my house plan because the lot is supposed to be 5,000 square feet.

Every Government that comes in would vow to speed up the building process, setting up committees to try to do so. I did a plan for an approved layout since 1978, only to be told by the public health officer that she doesn’t have a record of the LHA approval. Well duh, it’s not my problem, especially if it’s an old development with all infrastructure existing. Where am I going to get this information? The developer has since migrated.

It is with this in mind I am pleading with the authorities to please stop plans — whether subdivision or house plans —from going to health officers for approval. Numerous times I am asked by these health officers to go back to Town and Country, only to be told there that these health officers are crazy.

Imagine Town and Country has no jurisdiction on any parcel created before 1969, but these public health officers want you to apply to Town and Country for approval.

And then we want to know why dengue is spreading in Trinidad. These officers should be visiting sites and looking for open water containers. Let them see who is selling food without proper facilities.


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