Law enacted gives Governor and Planning Board more clout

Providenciales, 06 Jan 2016 – Some serious discrepancies in the previous Physical Planning Ordinance brought shame on the highest public officer in the land, the Governor, Peter Beckingham when the court ruled that he and others did not act in accordance with the law when it came to a request to go taller in building height on Grace Bay.

A nearby property filed the suit to stop the construction approval and won when the Chief Justice determined that the consultative process was inadequate and that the regulations were breached by the Governor, Minister of Infrastructure and Planning Director.

Now, after amendments made in the House of Assembly last month which more clearly define what the Governor and Planning are permitted to do, this will likely cause an override of the Governor’s decision – whatever it is – to never, ever happen again. According to the Attorney General’s Chambers legal drafters, “The Court held in a recent case that the development manual does not operate to change building heights…”

The AG’s office continued, “It was held that the amendment to building heights by way of a Notice amending the Development Manual was ultra vires the Governor’s powers to make regulations under the Physical Planning Ordinance.”

The Governor, any governor now has the power to make recommendations and changes and so can the Physical Planning Board. The proposed ordinance was passed in the House of Assembly in mid-December; it became law immediately. The Attorney General had been advised to appeal the ruling by CJ Margaret Ramsay-Hale.

With these legislation changes in place the AG will now likely win the case. On Monday government launched a new series of consultative meetings linked to this building height increase issue.

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