Recommendation Implemented: Revocation of Regularisation Permit

The Complaint

The Office of the Ombudsman investigated a complaint alleging errors in the approval of a regularisation permit for subdividing a fully detached villa into ten residential units.

The Investigation

Although the complaint addressed five issues – the extension of the footprint, presentation of the deeds of transfer, disturbance to neighbours, missing documents, and breach of planning policies – the Commissioner for Environment and Planing decided that only the first issue merited investigation.

The Commissioner found that the Case Officer report did not consider the issue relating to the building extensions carried out after 2016, even though this issue was flagged during the representation period. Nor did the Planning Commission address this matter in accordance with the Regularisation of Existing Development Regulations, despite its material bearing on the final decision.

The existing photos and the approved plans clearly show that there are differences in the footprint, particularly in three areas. A correct assessment of this application should have first concluded appropriately about this situation.

The Commissioner also found that a Planning Commission hearing date, set following the non-executable decision notice, was irregular since it preceded the established date for further submissions by the representees.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The Commissioner found the complaint justified, recommending the cancellation of the aforementioned Planning Commission hearing and revocation of the regularisation permit by the Planning Board, due to an error on the face of the record.

Outcome

Following the cancellation of the Planning Commission hearing and the Executive Chairperson’s recommendation to revoke this permit – for reasons stated in the Commissioner’s final opinion and due to the missing deed of transfer of the property – the Planning Board decided to revoke the Regularisation Permit in question.

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