Charlestown, Nevis (June 12, 2007)
Junior Minister with responsibility for Physical Planning on Nevis the Hon Carlisle Powell underscored the need for proper planning and the important role which the Nevis Physical Development Plan, once completed, would play in the development of Nevis.
The Minister made the comment during a press conference hosted by the Department of Physical Planning, at the Red Cross Building conference room in Charlestown on Tuesday June 12, to launch a series of public consultations with regard to a draft Nevis Physical Development Plan Project.
“Nevis is 36 square miles and that is a shrinking number”¦The information I have, suggests that whereas right now we have, in terms of households there are around 5,000. By 2021 you are looking at close to 7,000 and that is a significant increase. We are also looking at a population growth of up to 46 percent in that period.
“Whereas in 2005 there were less than 4,000 vehicles, by the end of the study period you are looking at 9,000 so it means that we have to plan properly”¦I want to suggest that this Physical Development Plan, as it is at this time, is coming at a very significant time in the development of Nevis,” he said.
While Mr. Powell noted the assistance of the Organisation of American States through Director Mr. Starret Greene who is based in St. Kitts, he urged Nevisians to take part in the consultations and to make their comments and contributions so that when the Plan became effective the public would be supported by the public.
The Nevis Physical Development Plan is a requirement of the Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control Ordinance which became operative in March 2006. The island Plan is an important document which would provide a vision for the future use of Nevis, the foundation for sustainable development and land use policies for the next 15 years and beyond.
Mr Greene, in remarks acknowledged his Organisation’s funding of the project and pledged an additional EC$50, 000 for the second year in response to a request from the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
He said the Project had found favour within the halls of the OAS for a number of important reasons.
“From a physical development standpoint and in the context of the proper and effective utilisation of our available land space, the project has great appeal to our expert evaluators.
“Moreover, when consideration is given to the island’s limited land space and the critical importance this has for the effective and efficient utilisation of the land and bearing in mind as well the current and future value to the sustainable livelihood of the population in protecting and preserving the environment, this project has certainly met the criteria for obtaining the organisation’s technical support and financing,” he said.
According to Mr. Greene, under the Organisation’s current Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development activities (2006-2009), the project fell within a priority area which is referred to as the Sustainable Development and Environment.
He noted that under the Strategic plan, Nevis qualified for technical support to integrate environmental protection within the NIA’s policies, regulations and all activities associated with natural resource management.
He said once the current project cycle concluded in March 2008, the Organisation would have succeeded in providing Nevis with the requisite institutional and human resource capacity to further expand the Nevis Physical Development Plan.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Physical Planning Mr Ernie Stapleton who chaired the proceedings explained that the Physical Development Plan would be a very important tool being developed by the NIA and appealed to the public to take part in the consultations.
“We would just like to use this opportunity to appeal to the general public to support these consultations that would occur and to make your suggestions and recommendations and to participate in the discussion as much as possible because at the end of the day the Nevis Physical Development Plan will be a plan for the people of Nevis and in order for it to be effective, it has to be implemented, monitored and reviewed.
“This plan is a plan for a 15year period for 2006-2021 and so therefore it is very important document that the people of Nevis will have to use as a tool,” he said.
The series of meetings at 7:30pm commences today with the first consultation planned for the Bath Village Community Centre. On Wednesday June 13th at the Brown Hill Community Centre; Thursday June 14th at the Mandela Centre in St. John, the Gingerland Secondary School on Friday 15th, the Zion Methodist Church on Saturday June 16th, the Butlers Community Centre on Monday June 18, Dicks Bar, Bricklyn on Tuesday June 19th, Combermere School on Wednesday June 20th, the Low Lands School on Thursday June 21 and the final consultation at the Ramsbury Play Field on Friday June 22nd.
Other remarks came from Ms. Lillith Richards Director of the Department of Physical Planning and Mr Geoff Webber Consultant.