Article published by LoopTT on 16th March, 2021.

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The San Fernando City Corporation and Point Fortin Borough Corporation will soon be part of the DevelopTT automated construction permitting process of the Ministry of Planning and Development’s Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD).

DevelopTT has digitally inter-connected six municipal corporations throughout Trinidad and Tobago through the live run of the T1 and T5 Regional areas which include Port-of-Spain, Diego Martin, County Caroni and parts of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation.

Robinson-Regis has previously stated: “Digitisation is proving to be an indispensable response to enhancing government service delivery.”

TCPD aims to have all regional corporations join the e-service in the near future. By connecting the regional corporations, applicants no longer have to manually submit decision letters to obtain a building permit; the letter will now be transferred digitally via DevelopTT to the relevant regional corporation. Municipal corporations issue permits and approvals such as Building Permits and Completion Certificates.

DevelopTT, Trinidad and Tobago’s online portal for development permitting, is currently live in TCPD’s T1 and T5 Planning Regions, with six (6) municipal corporations involved in the DevelopTT pilot phase at present.

However, prior to proceeding with planned development on any property, TCPD approval must be received. This decision is now obtained electronically through DevelopTT within two to three months. It is then forwarded to the relevant municipal corporation as well as other approving agencies after a decision letter is issued for a planning permission application.

It is important to note that construction cannot commence on a site/location until a building or subdivision permit is issued by the appropriate municipal corporation.

As the supervisory body, the municipal corporation must be notified of the commencement of any development works. Meanwhile, upon completion, the inspectorate will conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with approved plans.

After a successful inspection, the municipal corporation will then issue a Completion Certificate which is the last issued approval that confirms that development was completed within all specified standards of the applicable regulatory agencies.

According to the Town and Country Planning Act, line Minister Camille Robinson-Regis has responsibility for TCPD and is empowered to regulate all forms of development within the country. In this regard, digitising and inter-connecting agencies would be key to improving the construction permitting process.

Robinson-Regis has previously stated: “Digitisation is proving to be an indispensable response to enhancing government service delivery.”

She also noted that the inter-connectivity of government agencies involved in the construction permitting system has significantly decreased the number of days for permit processing. As a result, a business entity can have a TCPD outline building permission to construct a warehouse within 60 days.

The municipal corporations that are currently within the DevelopTT pilot include:

  • Chaguanas Borough Corporation
  • Couva/Tabaquite/ Talparo Regional Corporation
  • Diego Martin Regional Corporation
  • Port of Spain City Corporation
  • Portion of San Juan/ Laventille Regional Corporation
  • Portion of Tunapuna/ Piarco Regional Corporation

The remaining eight corporations to be included within DevelopTT are:

  • Arima Borough Corporation 
  • Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation
  • Penal/Debe Regional Corporation
  • Point Fortin Borough Corporation
  • Princes Town Regional Corporation
  • San Fernando City Corporation
  • Sangre Grande Regional Corporation
  • Siparia Regional Corporation
The Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, hosts a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) session for the Automated Construction Permitting System in August 2019.

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is also being considered for enrolment in the DevelopTT system.

The efficacy of the online service augurs well with national efforts by the Ministry to improve the country’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Ranking’ in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.

A country’s construction permitting process is a significant indicator that is considered by the World Bank in the computation of a country’s ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Index.

There are multiple agencies that are involved in the process and it can take between 38-270 days to obtain a permit. Due to these variables T&T has ranked 105 out of 190 countries on the list.

Meanwhile, one of the impacts of a fast-paced system is an acceleration within the construction industry. The revitalisation of the sector is an important tenet of the COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery plan.


San Fernando, Point Fortin corporations to join DevelopTT (LoopTT)