Today, the Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Walter H. Roban provided a statement announcing the launch of Planning Clinics to be hosted by the Department of Planning:
I am pleased to have the opportunity to announce the launch of a brand new initiative – upcoming Planning Clinics, to be hosted by the Department of Planning. These clinics will be held quarterly, and are free of charge to the general public.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Victoria Pereira, Director of the Department of Planning for joining me here today. I’d also like to welcome Larry Williams, Dept. of Planning Assistant Director; and Assistant Planner Yolanda Bashir.
You will be reminded that in May of this year, I read a statement in the House of Assembly entitled “Streamlining the Planning Process”. It was in this statement that I outlined a series of measures to be introduced which would support the construction and development industry over the next year.
In addition to outlining plans for:
- A paperless application system; which is currently underway,
- engagement with key stakeholders,
- and improving the level of transparency to the overall Planning process -
I also outlined plans to institute Planning Clinics, which I am happy to be providing further information about today.
The purpose of Planning Clinics is to provide members of the public with an opportunity to obtain planning related advice, and guidance, outside of the Department of Planning’s normal operating hours.
Our main goal is to improve planning literacy in Bermuda by creating access to a knowledgeable team of Planning officials, who can assist the general public by providing information on the planning process in an informal and approachable setting.
Through these clinics, the public will be able to get information regarding:
- New developments
- The upgrading of properties
- The requirements for upgrading listed buildings
- Types of applications landowners can submit
- Planning Applications
- Building Permits, and more.
Planning clinics will take place on a quarterly basis in the Western, Eastern and Central areas of Bermuda.
Our first quarterly set of clinics will take place:
- This Wednesday, August 14 at Southampton Pre- School from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
- Next week, Wednesday, August 21 at Horticulture Hall in the Botanical Gardens from 5:30- 7:30 pm, and
- Wednesday, August 28 at Bethel AME Church from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
The Department of Planning has been instrumental in ensuring that these Planning Clinics come to fruition. I know that Ms. Pereira and her team are committed to easing the burden and confusion that often surround applicants and developers during the Planning process.
Our hope, is that the Department of Planning will be seen as a valuable resource in Bermuda, and that the upcoming Planning Clinics will serve as an informative means to communicate useful information to the public, in a relaxed and constructive atmosphere.
I encourage the community to take full advantage of this upcoming opportunity and engage in meaningful talks around Planning in Bermuda.
Photo (l-t-r): Larry Williams (Assistant Director, Dept. of Planning), Minister Walter Roban, Victoria Pereira (Director, Dept. of Planning), Yolanda Bashir (Assistant Planner, Dept. of Planning)