Turks and Caicos Governor: House of Assembly to Decide High-Rise Question

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Above: the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A democratically-elected House of Assembly and government will decide whether to change existing legislation to permit high-rise developments, Turks and Caicos Governor Ric Todd said Monday.

The decision related to a proposal for a 28-story high-rise development on Providenciales called “Skyline.” That project would exceed current regulations for building height.

“I would like to note that before this development, or any development, can take place, a procedure set out in law must be followed,” Todd said. “It is an over-simplification to say that TCIG or the governor can just ‘approve’ this or any development.”

The proposal has been the subject of much recent debate in the territory.

“This case is unusual because the proposed development is of a height contrary to existing legislation,” he said. “But even if that legislation were to change, the proposal would still have to go through a full and normal planning process, including impact assessments and consultation.”

Todd earlier this year launched a public consultation on the $200 million Skyline project, with a report published last week, followed by talks with the developer and the TCI’s political parties.

“Taking account of all the circumstances, I have concluded that there should not be any change to the legislation relating to the height of the buildings on TCI before 15 October and that a decision on this legislation should be taken by an elected House of Assembly,” he said.

Todd also said he had asked the Attorney General and the TCI’s CEO to instruct the Planning Department to examine options for updating zoning, planning and other rules as a basis for potential work by the elected government in November.

“Their willingness to invest $200 million is of course a major vote of confidence in TCI, illustrating both the strong economic position which TCI currently has and the potential of the islands,” he said.

Elections are scheduled in the Turks and Caicos on November 9.