ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Development Control Authority (DCA) has initiated steps to tighten the way in which approval is given for developments.
This follows speculation that DCA officials are approving development plans for members of the public who do not meet the stipulated requirements.
The signature of the Chief Town and Country Planner Frederick Southwell will be affixed to applications approved by the authority.
Previously, there was no signature on approved applications bearing DCA’s stamp of approval.
“Mr Southwell’s signature will appear on the forms and if it does not, Mr Southwell will have to tell us why,” said chairman of the DCA Leon “Chaku” Symister.
Symister, who spoke on yesterday’s Voice of the People radio programme, said investigations have revealed that approvals were granted for services over the past few years, which should not have occurred.
He said such approvals have led to the problems the DCA is currently facing, especially with squatting in the Perry Bay community and other parts of the island.
“There is enough blame to go around. We have seen situations, which this very DCA board had approved for some services for those places that should not have happened. What was behind the approval is a different problem,” Symister said.
“We know that APUA allowed their services. It should not have happened because on the APUA form there is need for the signature of the land owner that was never there,” he added.
The admission by the chairman adds weight to claims by Chief Environmental Officer Diann Black- Layne that political interference had allowed the issue of squatting to get out of control.