Planning lifts ban on earth cutting


05-April-2013

The lift took effect on April 1, 2013.
However, also effective that same date, all prospective developers or individuals including farmers wishing to undertake terrace cuttings will have to apply for permission with the planning authority.

Since the ban came into force, the planning authority jointly with the department of environment, have been monitoring the situation closely, a communiqué from the Ministry of Land Use & Habitat said.

“Given that the meteorological services has indicated that the extreme weather the country experienced in January is now over, the planning authority is convinced that this is the appropriate time to lift the ban and allow prospective developers and individuals to go on with their works which they have had to put on hold because of the ban,” said the communiqué.

During the period the ban was in force, the planning authority visited many sites where earthworks had already taken place and where new ones will eventually take place and concluded that while the majority of earthworks undertaken on land followed some logical and practical standards for earth cuttings, some were found to have been done in what the authority has described as “a reckless manner”, with no respect for proper slope/safe gradient cuttings and trimming. 

In this respect, all prospective developers or individual including farmers wishing to undertake terrace cuttings will have to apply with the planning authority for a special permit for the works. 
The permit will be similar to the existing burning and tree cutting permits currently issued by the department of environment. 

Those falling in this category will have to officially apply in advance for a permit to undertake such works.  Planning officers will then visit the sites where the works are expected to take place and will make recommendations to the planning authority. 

The authority is urging developers and individuals to submit their applications in good time. 
Application forms for earthworks permit can be obtained from the planning authority receiving counter located on the ground floor of Independence House in Victoria and at the MLUH office at Grand Anse Praslin. Arrangements are also being made for the forms to be available at district administration offices on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

In a bid to ensure adequate control is observed in this respect, the planning authority has already moved to request all agents licenced to submit applications for development proposals to the authority to ensure that as part of their planning application submission, they include a document/plan to indicate the existing profile for the terrain condition under consideration for development and to propose to the authority methods intended to appropriately contain all embankments that will result in the process of earth cuttings.

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