Why did the Barbados Chief Town Planner secretly set aside an Enforcement Notice for a year?

What does Chief Justice Marston Gibson think of this kind of nonsense in our Courts?

Why did the Chief Town Planner wait for a year to send out an Enforcement Notice?

Did he finally send out the notice only because he was called to testify in court?

This is a strange one indeed.

The Southern Palms Beach Hotel registered a complaint with the Chief Town Planner in January 2002. The complaint had to do with work being done by another party close to the hotel’s property.

The Chief Town Planner investigated and prepared an Enforcement Notice in October of 2002 but did not send it.

The notice was only sent a year later on October 29, 2003 – the day before the Chief Town Planner was called to appear before the court and give testimony.

Was this a mistake? Was there some nefarious agenda at play?

Or… is it simply another example of how things work (or don’t work) at Town and Country Planning?

No wonder cases and disputes can take decades to make it through the Barbados Courts. Would courts in the USA or the UK stand for such nonsense?

Here is the court decision where Mr. Justice Carlisle Payne lays out a most unusual situation. Perhaps our readers or someone from Town and Country Planning can explain this…






No. 504 of 2003





Before the Honourable Mr.Justice Carlisle Payne, Judge of the High Court.

2003: September 16

October 30

Mr. Elliott Mottley, Q.C. for the Plaintiff with Ms. Karen Culbard

Mr. Andrew Thornhill for the Defendant with Ms. Nicole Roachford.

Reasons for Decision

[1] The main issue is whether the Defendant is in breach of a lease between the parties.

[2] When the matter first came on Mr. Thornhill submitted that it was more appropriate to be begun by Writ because of several contentious issues, and he sought an order accordingly.

[3] From the affidavits on both sides it appeared to me that the alleged breaches were the carrying out of the works which formed the subject matter of The Chief Town Planner’s Enforcement Notice No. 106 of 2002. These were the only breaches or works identified in the application and affidavits. The issues for the court appeared to be whether those works concerned the hotel and grounds named in the lease between the parties dated 16th July, 1999, and whether those works were carried out in breach of the lease. The positions of the parties were set out in their affidavits. There appeared to be no substantial dispute as to the material facts.

[4] The defendant’s application was therefore refused.

[5] During the hearing however, the Applicant led oral evidence from the Chief Town Planner of a complaint received by his office in January 2002 from Southern Palms Beach Hotel who owned the adjoining premises, of work carried out by the defendant in close proximity to their boundary. This complaint was investigated by the Chief Town Planner. As a result an Enforcement Notice No. 105 of 2002 was prepared in October 2002, but was sent out on 29th October 2003, the day before the Chief Town Planner gave evidence.

[6] Mr. Thornhill objected to the admission of this evidence from the Chief Town Planner, on the grounds that it formed no part of the Applicant’s case as presented in his summons and affidavit, and asked that his earlier application that the matter proceed as if begun by writ to be revisited.

[7] I consider that the evidence concerning Enforcement Notice No. 105 of 2002raises fresh issues. Further affidavit evidence or oral evidence from the Defendant can now be expected. The court does not know what the Defendant’s position will be.

[8] I therefore revisited my earlier decision and ordered that the matter proceed as if begun by writ.

[9] I did not have occasion to consider any consequential directions or orders, since counsel for the applicant expressed his disagreement with my decision and announced that he would appeal.

Carlisle Payne

High Court Judge.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

2 responses to “Why did the Barbados Chief Town Planner secretly set aside an Enforcement Notice for a year?



    No Govern-mental Institution is safe from it now.
    Not one single one.
    We live in a corrupt world, particularly here in de W.Indies!

  2. Newbie

    The crooked housing contractors that operates in Barbados and is one of the major factors contributing to a landscape of unfinished houses just loves the Town And Country planning department. It seems that if you have a few dollars that you can buy your way pass any of the regulations Some of these guys should try plying their trade (if you can call it that) in some of the other countries. They would either be locked up or d**d and most of them deserve one of the two. They are just parasites sucking the blood from honest people who work hard to try and create a better standard of living for themselves and their families. Then to have some lying, thieving S.O.B come along and use Government officials to help rob them.