Business

Govt looking at building code tweaks to deal with climate change

Government is looking at changing the country’s building codes to deal with the pressures that climate change will put on the built environment, Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears said yesterday.

Sears, who spoke at a press conference held by the Ministry of Works and Utilities to talk about flood remediation, explained that one of the legislative changes being considered would allow the Ministry of Works to use third-party inspectors to go into developments to ensure that all of the country’s building codes have been adhered to.

“We’re also looking at putting forward legislation to use third-party inspectors in the construction industry, especially on large-scale commercial projects and subdivisions where our resources may be insufficient,” said Sears.

“You will have qualified engineers who can serve on behalf of the ministry as what we call third-party inspectors.”

Sears said a team has been assembled to look at the country’s building code, to see how it can be strengthened, given the “new threats” that the built environment faces related to climate change. He added that the government is looking at developing a comprehensive land-use plan.

“Some of the building of homes and commercial properties have been on wetlands and, in concert with the Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources we will be publishing, after study and consultation with stakeholders, a land-use plan for New Providence,” said Sears.

He added that there will definitely be changes made to the Planning and Subdivision Act, given recent Privy Council rulings.

Sears, speaking about changes that will be included in the upcoming budget, said a line item will be included in the budget that deals specifically with drainage maintenance in the country, to extoll the government’s commitment to dealing with the flooding seen in New Providence recently.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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