Approval of the East Port of Spain Strategic Development Plan is a critical pre-requisite to ensure compliance by all agencies involved in the development process to carry out development in accordance with a statutory instrument.
Ready access to land ensures that the type of development envisaged in the Plan is implemented in appropriate locations in a timely manner. The Plan therefore recommends that all public lands within the East Port of Spain Metropolitan District should be vested in the East Port of Spain Development Company, including lands currently held by other state agencies.
Successful implementation of development policies and projects depends on timely availability of funds. While funding is available under the Infrastructure Development Fund for physical infrastructure projects, implementation of appropriate social and economic programmes is a critical element of the regeneration strategy for East Port of Spain. However, these programmes cannot be funded from the Infrastructure development Fund under existing legislative arrangements. It is therefore imperative that alternative sources of funds are identified and made available in a timely manner to facilitate comprehensive and integrated development and successful urban regeneration in East Port of Spain.
While some infrastructure provision and upgrading is traditionally the responsibility of the State, the East Port of Spain Development Company recognizes the need to leverage private sector funding to facilitate regeneration through use of joint ventures and other innovative partnership arrangements.
Preparation of an EPOS Development Order setting out appropriate development standards, land-use policies and a process for securing development approvals, will ensure flexibility in the regulatory/planning system to facilitate and encourage urban regeneration. The Development Order will be prepared in close consultation with the Town and Country Planning Division and within the framework of the Strategic Development Plan. This strategy allows for speedier determination of applications for development permission and shorter project start–up times for projects that conform to the standards and guidelines specified in the Order. The Development Order will be administered by the East Port of Spain Development Company as delegated by the Minister responsible for town and country planning.
The Town and Country Planning Act provides for designation of Comprehensive Development Areas in development plans. Within a CDA the implementing agency has the authority to acquire and assemble land for development and redevelopment in accordance with an agreed development planning framework.
Contractors and developers must be able to operate in a safe and secure environment to ensure successful implementation of development projects. Safety of persons and property must be ensured and workers and contractors must be able to execute their functions without fear of intimidation.
Several agencies are active in East Port of Spain. However, there is no formal mechanism for coordination and collaboration between them. Individual project initiatives are therefore conceptualized and implemented in the absence of a comprehensive development framework/strategy, resulting in overlapping jurisdictions, duplication and poorly coordinated project initiatives. The East Port of Spain Development Company should play a coordinating role, bringing together all other development agencies within the framework established by the Plan.
Redevelopment of East Port of Spain should leverage private sector funds and support for investment, economic activity and physical and social development. This requires the State to create an environment that is safe, attractive and physically able to accommodate investment and development, including provision of basic infrastructure systems, transport and accessibility and a well trained, skilled work force. Consideration should also be given to assembling a package of appropriate financial and other incentives to encourage private sector investors and developers to participate in the regeneration of East Port of Spain.