Legislative Framework

Despite its deficiencies, Trinidad and Tobago’s existing legal framework is adequate to facilitate implementation of an urban regeneration strategy in East Port of Spain and creation of a network of sustainable communities. The following legislation provides for comprehensive planning and (re)development to achieve transformation through regeneration:

The Town and Country Planning Act, Chapter 35:01provides for:

  • preparation of development plans and alterations/additions to existing plans (Section 5);
  • identification and designation of Comprehensive Development Areas to address issues of poor layout, obsolescence, relocation, redevelopment and land acquisition to facilitate same (Section 5 [4]);
  • preparation of Development Orders under Section 9 to grant permission for development specified in the Order, subject to development standards and guidelines specified in the Plan or the Order; and
  • delegation of powers by the Minister to local authorities in respect of the grant or refusal of planning permission to develop land (Section 10 [1]).

The Slum Clearance and Housing Act, Chapter 33:02 enables the Minister responsible for housing to:

  • identify and declare slum clearance areas within which housing conditions are dangerous or injurious to the health and welfare of residents and to identify and declare re-development areas and to prepare and approve schemes for both these areas.
  • demolish, reconstruct and repair houses; acquire land or buildings that are unfit for human habitation
  • provide housing for the working class.

The Land Acquisition Act, Chapter 58:01Authorizes acquisition of land for public purposes.

The Highways Act, Chapter 48:01 designates highways authorities for various classes of highways and roads. It also empowers the appropriate highways authority to construct, maintain/improve and close highways; create by agreement, divert or close footpaths; provide for adequate drainage and lighting of highways and to erect fences and boundaries to prevent access to highways or land identified for construction of highways.

The Environmental Management Act, 2000 promotes and encourages understanding and appreciation of the environment; encourages integration of environmental concerns into decisions of private and public sector developers; and establishes an integrated environmental management system to conserve the environment; and to develop and implement laws, policies and programmes for environmental management and to satisfy government’s international obligations. The new Water Pollution Rules also provide for protection and clean-up of water courses.