Planning Guidelines for Hurricanes Repairs

September 15, 2020

The Department of Planning knows you want to repair any damage to your property caused by the recent passing of storms as soon as possible. The Department of Planning technical officers are available to assist.
Repairs to Buildings

Like for like repairs of windows, doors and roof slate will not require planning permission or a building permit if the damage is limited to non-structural issues. Owners can proceed immediately with these types of repairs as soon as it is feasibly possible.

Repairs to buildings that received structural damage as a result of a hurricane may only commence following the receipt of a building permit from the Department of Planning. These applications will be given priority and will be processed expeditiously. The Department can allow for dangerous structural repairs to commence without a permit as long as we are made aware and structural details are submitted as an application as expeditiously as possible following commencement of work.

Class IV of the Development and Planning (General Development) Order 1999 says that a General Development Permit / Permitted Development Permit can be used for damages caused by storms and fire provided that no more than 60% of the building/structure has been destroyed and that the replacement is not greater than the existing building/structure.

Please review the General Development Order / Permitted Development Permit Guidance Note for more information: Download Now

For building permit information, please contact Aidan Stones on 295-5151 ext. 1309 or atstones@gov.bm For development application information, please contact Paul McDonald on 297-7793 or pamcdonald@gov.bm

Repairs to Listed Buildings
Repairs to Listed Buildings or buildings located within Historic Protection Areas that received structural damage as a result of the hurricane may only commence following receipt of a building permit from the Department. All such permit applications will be expedited by theDepartment.

Repairs to a Listed Building damaged as a result of a severe weather event using “like-for- like” details and materials will not require planning permission or a building permit if the damage is limited to non- structural issues. Owners can proceed immediately with repairing items such as windows, doors and roof slate with identical materials to replicate the style and detailing of the original structure.

For further information or advice, please contact Larry Williams on 297-7724 or lqwilliams@gov.bm

Please review Guidance Note 203 for more information: Download Now

Repairs for Damaged Sea Walls and Docks
Seawalls and docks to be replaced will ordinarily require a building permit only. This is to ensure that the replacement structures meet the Bermuda Building Code 1998 and are structurally sound. Since seawalls and docks can have a negative impact on the natural foreshore both physically and visually, planning permission may be required in some instance. Prior to considering any repair works the Department of Planning should be consulted.

Assistance, information and clarification of the requirements should be directed to the Department of Planning at 297-7756. For the most up to date information, visit the Department’s website: www.planning.gov.bm

Building Control Contact List

Aidan Stones Acting Building Control Officer atstones@gov.bm X1309
Donna Francis Permits Processor dmfrancis@gov.bm X1755
Omar Douglas Acting Asst. Building Control Officer opdouglas@gov.bm X1364
Steven Every Electrical Inspector severy@gov.bm X1580
Melvin Holdipp Building Inspector maholdipp@gov.bm X1186
Damon Walker Building Inspector djwalker@gov.bm X1687
Kenny Young Building Inspector keyoung@gov.bm X1206


THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS. THE HON. WALTER ROBAN JP MP ON DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING UPDATES

February 5, 2020

Good Morning All,

Today I am pleased to provide you with two exciting updates regarding the Department of Planning’s continued efforts in working to better serve the public.

I am joined by my Director of Planning Ms. Victoria Pereira.

The first update is aimed at reducing the processing times for certain applications by allowing the Development Applications Board (DAB) to delegate its power to grant or refuse planning permission for certain applications to the Director of Planning.

This week, the Development and Planning (Delegation) Notice 2020 was signed by myself and the DAB Chair and sets out specifically which types of applications are to be determined by the Board and which may be determined by the Director, moving forward.  The latter are essentially applications that are straightforward and compliant with the current development plans for the island.

It is anticipated that this change, known as the Scheme of Delegation, will greatly reduce processing times by allowing internal approvals for those fully compliant applications and those only requiring minimal discretion.

The goal is to streamline processes so that these applications no longer have to go through the Board, which meets every two weeks.

However, the types of applications that will still be sent to the Board to approve or refuse will be:

  • Applications which have registered objections;
  • Applications which include an Environmental Impact Statement;
  • Applications which, in the opinion of the Director, are of national interest;
  • Applications where the recommendation of the Department would be in conflict with the recommendation received from another Government department or non-governmental body;
  • Applications for development which do not achieve a prescribed minimum setback to a lot line and do not include acknowledgments from the affected neighbors;
  • And subdivision applications for the creation of undersized lots.

In addition to this list, the Director may refer any other application which, for any reason, the Director considers should to be determined by the Board.

Similarly, the Board may decide certain applications may be better determined by the Director.

It should be noted that the Board will still have sight of any and all applications they wish to view and the Chairman will be advised as to which applications have been approved under the Scheme of Delegation. The Board may review and decide any application which would normally be determined by the Director.

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…one of these was the Scheme of Delegation which I have just highlighted.

Another thing I mentioned in my statement last year was the Draft Bermuda Plan 2018. Since December 2018, the Draft Bermuda Plan has been the new operational development plan for the entire Island, with the exception of the City of Hamilton.

I am happy to report that we are now on the final stage of finalizing the Plan. As part of the Plan’s public consultation component, the Department of Planning invited the public to review and submit objections and comments on the Plan. Members of the public were then invited to submit counter objections to any objection. Any objections that are unresolved will be referred to a Tribunal to hear the details of each case.

The tribunal is an independent and unbiased group whose role is to hear all arguments and make a recommendation to the Minister as to how to proceed. Following the final decision by the Minister on all objections, the plan will proceed to the House of Assembly for approval in order for the Plan to be adopted as Final.

It’s important to have the Bermuda Plan finalized and implemented in order for landowners to proceed in making plans for development. I know that individuals may have put their applications on hold – waiting for the new plan to come into effect – to see if there will be any changes to particular zonings, etc.

It is expected that the tribunal will conclude their work this summer.

In closing, I wish to thank the Director and her team for their continued diligence and commitment to the people of Bermuda.

This Government recognizes the crucial role that the Department of Planning plays in facilitating and supporting new investment and, as such, is desirous to improve procedures that will result in more efficient decision-making and, generally, unburden the application process.

You will be hearing many more progressive changes coming out of the Department of Planning shortly.

Thank You.



A Guide to Publicity and Commenting on Planning Applications

December 3, 2019

Section 13 of the Development and Planning (Application Procedure) Rules 1997 allows the Development Applications Board (the “Board”), with the approval of the Minister, to establish guidelines as to which applications for planning permission will require public notification.

Under these provisions, the Board has determined that planning applications for development (DAP1 applications) and planning applications for the subdivision of land (DAP2 applications) will be required to be publicised by notice published in the Official Gazette and by display of a site notice. This applies to all such applications unless the Board specifically agrees to waive such advertisement requirements for an individual case or circumstance. These advertisement provisions do not apply to applications for revisions or renewals of planning permission, which do not require any public notification.

Upon submission of an application, applicants are required to demonstrate that a notice, or notices, have been properly displayed in an appropriate location on or adjacent to the site by including photographs of the displayed notice(s) with the submission. The site notice must meet the following criteria:

  • Include the name of the applicant, application number, location of the proposed development, a suitable description of the proposal and the current zoning of the land.
  • Be coloured red with black lettering at a size no less than 11” x 17”.
  • Be printed on firm/heavy paper that is laminated or otherwise made suitablywaterproof/water resistant.
  • Be placed on the property as soon as possible and remain on the property until the end of the appeal period (21 days from the date of the Board’s decision).
  • Be placed in a location that is visible to the general public.
  • Be placed on a stake inserted in the ground, in a window or on the building face; for major development proposal or proposals which affect corner lots or lots with more than one street frontage, multiple signs may be required.

After evidence of the display of an appropriate site notice, or notices, has been provided and a complete application has been received, advertisements are published in the online Official Gazette. Such advertisements may be published on any working day and any objections or representations should be submitted to the Department of Planning within 14 calendar days of the publication date (unless the 14th day is a public holiday). Any objection must adhere to the criteria set out by Section 18 of the Development and Planning (Application Procedure) Rules 1997, namely:

  1. (a)  identify the application to which the objection relates and the application’s reference number;
  2. (b)  contain the name of the person making the objection and an address in Bermuda at which notices may be served upon him;
  3. (c)  where the objection is signed by more than one person, specify one address in Bermuda at which notice may be served upon those making the objection;
  4. (d)  state whether the person signing the objection has an interest in land in the vicinity of the land to which the application relates and, if so, the nature of that interest and the location of that land;
  5. (e)  state the grounds upon which the objection is made; and
  6. (f)  be signed by the person or persons making the objection.

It is preferred that objections and representations be submitted electronically, which can be done via email to planningfrontdesk@gov.bm. For the avoidance of doubt, objections submitted electronically which include either a digital signature or the name of the objector(s) will be taken as satisfying point (f) above.



Department of Planning Announces Second Series of Free Planning Clinics

November 22, 2019

The Department of Planning is pleased to announce the launch of the second series of free, quarterly Planning Clinics.

The purpose of these Planning Clinics is to provide members of the public with an opportunity to obtain planning related advice outside of the Department of Planning’s normal operating hours. The primary 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.

The first series of quarterly Planning Clinics kicked-off earlier this year in August. These clinics came following a House Assembly reading of the statement entitled “Streamlining the Planning Process” by Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Walter Roban JP MP. In this statement, the Minister announced work being done to institute Planning Clinics, in addition to outlining plans for a paperless application system, engagement with key stakeholders, and improving the level of transparency to the overall Planning process.

The Department of Planning has been instrumental in ensuring that quarterly Planning Clinics are available and beneficial to the Bermuda public. The Department of Planning encourages the community to take full advantage of this opportunity and welcomes residents to engage in meaningful talks around Planning in Bermuda.



Govt Processed Emergency Permits To Cut Slate

October 7, 2019

The Government said they are aware of the plight of homeowners who have suffered roof damage as a result of Hurricane Humberto, and said a “number of steps have been taken to determine sites that could be used to obtain slate.”

A Government spokesperson said, “The Government is aware of, and concerned about, the plight of homeowners who have lost roofs and suffered damages as a result of Hurricane Humberto.

“As a result of the recent storm, a number of steps have been taken to determine sites that could be used to obtain slate. This includes

  • [1] liaising with the Construction Association to determine sites as well as
  • [2] liaising with the quarry operators who have existing licenses to cut slate to ensure that there are adequate amounts that are being produced.

“The Ministry of the Home Affairs has processed emergency permits to enable contractors to cut slate at sites that meet the relevant requirements. Those sites that are either actively being quarried, or the landowners have requested permission, include:

  • “1. Bermuda Slaters – near the Prison Farm, Ferry Reach, St. George’s
  • “2. Butterfield & Vallis site near BAA
  • “3. Barritt’s Soda Company
  • “4. St. Regis site, St George
  • “5. Radnor Estate Road, Hamilton Parish

“On average, quarrying a single site may render 300 – 500 pieces of slate daily with the current wait time for customers being between 1.5 – 2 weeks.

“Small repairs can require up to 500 pieces, whereas a complete roof replacement for an average size home may require anywhere from 1,500 – 2,500 pieces. Property owners are reminded that in lieu of traditional Bermuda slate, synthetic slate continues to be available for purchase locally from businesses such as SAL.

“More sites continue to be identified and will be provided as the Government is informed.

“The Department of Planning encourages those about to embark on excavating a site as part of an approved development to consider quarrying if material is deemed suitable for the purposes of producing slate. To this end, if any property owners have sites that may be suitable for slate cutting and wish to assist under these emergency circumstances, please contact the Department of Planning at 297-7756.”

Source: Bernews