DevelopTT, the Automated Construction Permitting System (ACPS) has received over 1000 applications to date. The DevelopTT platform is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Planning and Development (MPD) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) designed to address the deficiencies of the manual construction permit approval process. The platform is an online user-friendly system through which applicants can submit, track and edit building permit applications more efficiently.
The pilot project, launched in March 2020, initially covered applications for Planning Permission for the North Regional Office (NRO) T1 Planning Region of the MPD’s Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) which includes the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, the Port of Spain City Corporation and a portion of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation. Coverage was later extended to the T5 Planning Region which encompasses the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, portions of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporations and the remaining portion of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation.
Planning Permission e-services include Building permits and other development approvals required for the construction process. Effective September 2020, all e-application submissions and processing for Planning Permission for these two (2) Regions have been completed entirely online via the DevelopTT platform. This digitization transformation has increased the processing efficiency and transparency of the regulatory agencies involved in processing development approvals.
To date, the North Regional Office (NRO) of the TCPD has received a total of one thousand, and eighty four (1,084) Planning Permission applications to execute development under the Town and Country Planning Act. Of the 1,084 applications, a total of three hundred and forty-five (345) applications were submitted in the T1 Planning Region and the remaining seven hundred and thirty-nine (739) Planning Permission applications were received for the T5 Zone Planning Region. Through the adoption of DevelopTT , the GORTT aims to improve the processing time at TCPD for Outline Approvals from sixty (60) days to forty (40) days; the processing time at TCPD for Planning Permission Approval from ninety (90) days to fifty five (55) days; and the processing time at TCPD, Regulatory Agencies and Corporations for Construction Permits from two hundred and fifty three (253) days to one hundred and seventy (170) days. The ACPS has been a welcome development with over one thousand two hundred (1,200) registered applicants currently utilizing the platform. Mr. Rikki Rajaram, a registered applicant said, “The application process is easy to follow, user friendly and time efficient. It’s definitely the step in the right direction, and I would surely encourage my fellow professionals to get on board.”
Likewise, approval agencies have indicated that the ACPS is quite beneficial to the two hundred and seventy-one (271) public officers currently utilizing the platform. Once the ACPS is fully implemented, eleven (11) development e-services will be offered via the platform representing a collaborative effort of twenty-nine (29) Other Government Agencies (OGAs) across ten (10) Ministries and the Tobago House of Assembly. The ACPS is therefore a prime example of the inter-governmental collaboration and interconnectivity between and amongst government agencies which is key to enhancing the ease of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago, moving the country toward becoming a digital society and creating an enabling environment to attract investment.