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BE OUR GUEST: Due process being ignored


marciadottin, [email protected]

BE OUR GUEST: Due  process being ignored

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There is a tendency in the conduct of parliamentary business when Cabinet as the administration constitutes a majority of the House of Assembly to assume that a Cabinet decision is the ultimate resolution of Parliament as the legislature to the extent that it is unnecessary to bring the relevant matter to the House.
That presumption has an erosive effect on the integrity of the Legislature.
In the case of the amendment of the Development Plan made under the Town & Country Planning Act, any approval by Parliament which fails to satisfy or observe the conditions and procedure required by the act may be invalidated upon judicial review on grounds that due process was not observed and satisfied in preparation of the amendment for submission to the legislature.
Two such administrative acts are likely to be vulnerable at the time of this observation from statements on CBC–TV and the Press as late as April 1.
A Cabinet decision to accept any proposals for alteration of the Water?Protection Zones included in the Development Plan will not be the final determination of the matter. It must eventually be submitted as a fully documented amendment of the Development Plan under the Town &?Country Planning Act for approval by both Houses of the Legislature.
Interest in the future of the area between St David’s and Six Cross Roads bound by Highways 5 and 6 is not merely a matter of coordinating applications made for change of use from agricultural to urban.
Incidentally it would have been referred to the Minister for the attention of the Advisory Committee instead of being dealt with by the Chief Town Planner, but involves an amendment of the Development Plan by due process of public notice, invitation of written submissions to the minister of objections and representations in respect of the proposal, public inquiry conducted by the Advisory Committee and Report to the minister for submission to Parliament for resolution by both houses, and if approved, brought into operation by Development Order issued by the Advisory Committee to be observed in determination of applications for permission to develop land in the area concerned.
Leonard St Hill is a former Chief Town Planner. This is an edited version of a letter to the Editor.

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