Approvals of buildings should be controlled, says official

Islands

THE establishment of a Tourism Development Authority in East New Britain should control approvals of the type of buildings erected, says an official.
ENB Chamber of Commerce and Industry president David Stein agreed with concerns raised by the public in the province on the warehouse type of buildings in Kokopo and Rabaul towns, mostly owned by foreign businesses.
Stein said the chamber would like to push for the revamping of the Gazelle Restoration Authority, established after the volcanic eruptions in the province, to become a tourism development authority.
“We could have them working on something similar on a 10-year project for tourism development in ENB,” he said.
“That authority needs to be something with teeth and needs to have veto ruling on physical planning and veto ruling on building board so that there cannot be any development that happens anywhere in ENB unless the tourism development authority approves it.
“Then we can stop this situation where ENB has got some unsightly warehouse-type of construction happening along the main road in Kokopo. Even though they have met requirements, they must not be in full sight of the public.”
Stein said with the development of tourism development authority along the lines of the GRA, they were able to liaise with donor aid agencies to provide funds.
“One of those can be governance issues that include physical planning approvals and building board approvals,” he said.
“And making sure there is no continuation of unsightly buildings but future development working towards a common aim for ENB to become a major tourism destination.”

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