Link to original article: http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/new-online-application-system-for-town–country-planning-division-6.2.1131840.b0fc4ad79e

Story published in the Trinidad Guardian on Sunday 7th June, 2020.

From Monday 8 June 2020, some parts of Chaguanas, San Juan, Tunapuna and Couva, will have access to a new online portal that allows users to submit development permitting applications electronically, to the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD).

According to a release issued by the Ministry of Planning and Development, residents from the T5 Planning Region will have access to DevelopTT, the new online TCPD application portal, as the second Pilot is conducted in the T5 Region. The boundaries for the region include:

        • Chaguanas Borough Corporation
        • Couva / Tabaquite / Talparo Regional Corporation
        • Portion of Tunapuna / Piarco Regional Corporation
        • Portion of San Juan / Laventille Regional Corporation

“During the COVID-19 stay-at home period, over 150 citizens have registered online to use the new paperless service from T1 alone.” – Minister in the Ministry of Planning and Development, Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn.

The DevelopTT Pilot, which was initiated within the boundaries of the Port of Spain City Corporation in the first stage, before branching out to the Diego Martin and San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporations, has now been expanded to the T5 Planning Region.

The Ministry explains that immediately upon the Pilot’s expansion to these areas, digital submissions for construction and other related approvals in the form of Town and Country Planning Division requests, Planning Permissions, Building Permits and Completion Certificates, will commence.  The Pilots in T1 and T5 allow for important data and feedback to ensure the full readiness of the system before a nationwide launch.

Minister in the Ministry of Planning, Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, expects an exponential increase in registrants and applicants with the expansion of the Pilot to the T5 region.

“Since March 2020, the system has been accepting applications from the Port of Spain City Corporation, Diego Martin and San Juan / Laventille Regional Corporations called the T1 Region,” Minister Crichlow-Cockburn reports.  “During the COVID-19 stay-at home period, over 150 citizens have registered online to use the new paperless service from T1 alone.”

DevelopTT is a partnership of the Ministry of Planning and Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry, and also involves the other government agencies and Municipal Corporations involved in the construction permitting application process such as: the Water and Sewerage Authority, the T&T Fire Service, the EMA, Regional Corporations, T&TEC and so on.

The Planning Ministry notes that the DevelopTT project is also critical to the Ministry of Trade’s efforts to improve Trinidad and Tobago’s performance in the Ease of doing Business Index Rankings.

Mr Alston Fournillier, CEO and Director at A&L Estate Management, receives his certificate of participation after completing the DevelopTT Training workshop for Frequent Applicants in December 2019.

Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Development, Dr. Keith Rowley, strongly champions the project and welcomes its full implementation nationally as critical to the Government’s drive towards T&T’s sustainable development.

Applications submitted via DevelopTT are processed electronically on a secured URL that uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This type of security protocol is used to transmit private documents via the internet. The system converts information or data into codes that prevent unauthorized access.

To support the system’s security, registered users are provided with a computer-generated passcode (ID) that is only known to the recipient. This unique passcode permits access to the user’s personal dashboard. The online dashboard is where the applicant can view their sensitive and or confidential information uploaded during application submission. The dashboard is where the user will receive status updates and access electronic official responses provided by the relevant agencies.

The entire process is now, therefore, paperless.  The Ministry says this will also allow for a level of increased transparency in the construction application process, as users will have direct access to feedback or lack thereof and therefore, can react or respond in a fitting manner.  Through this project, the Planning Ministry aims to improve the performance of the Town and Country Planning Division.

To use the new TCPD online service, users must be registered and receive a unique ID (Passcode). Registration information is available at:

http://www.developtt.gov.tt and http://www.ttbizlink.gov.tt

 

New online application system for Town and Country Planning Division (Trinidad Guardian)