Local Area Plans

Download Local Area Plans Intro – 7.1-2 here.

7.1     Introduction

While the previous section provides an overall land use zoning strategy and supporting policy for north Montserrat this section looks in detail at the main settlement areas around the island. Local Area Plans are set out for the following areas, as illustrated in Figure 7.1.

A concise Local Area Plan has been prepared for each of these areas with the following objectives.

  • To provide an understanding of the current land use and infrastructure situation, current demographic trends and environmental and social conditions.
  • To provide an understand community issues and concerns
  • To highlight which local facilities are lacking, what types of development are appropriate for each area and what capacity there is for certain types of future development.
  • To set out the opportunities and constraints to future development
  • To outline the general strategy for the sustainable development of each area supported by a suite of detailed land use planning policies and infrastructure recommendations.

The Local Area Plans have been prepared in close consultation with the local community. A description of the consultation process is available in Appendix E. The principles relating to implementing the LAP policy are set out in Section 7.11.

GIS figure – LAP locations

7.2     Central Themes and Principles

There are some basic principles that should form the foundations of successful communities and sustainable socio-economic development in Montserrat.

A mix of land uses

A suitable mix of land uses including residential and commercial, retail and recreational is crucial to creating vibrant communities where people want to live, work and spend time. This creates opportunities for people to live close to their work place and to have easy access to local services and shops. This model of community development also reduces the need for car travel, reducing the pressure on the island’s roads, increasing road safety and reducing carbon emissions and public spending on gasoline.

Community facilities

Supporting community needs and providing a venues and facilities for recreation, learning, skills enhancement and general meetings and activities is seen as a key function of government (ref SDP). There is a need to provide appropriate community centres for each of the main communities in Montserrat. Community centres support the development, popularity and effectiveness of youth groups and special interest groups and foster community interaction and support. They also provide opportunities for community members to learn new skills in order to gain access to the job opportunities that will increase along with a more diverse economy, construction projects and increasing tourism.

A healthy and safe population

Local access to sports and recreation is crucial for the healthy development of Montserrat’s population, for community events and for increased quality of life. There is an important need for public space in Montserrat for the full range of community and national events throughout the year. For example, St Patricks day centre celebrations have recently been held in the centre of Salem where there is a suitable open area surrounded by bars and shops. Safe and stimulating playgrounds for smaller children are an important community facility.

Easy Movement and Access

Improving the movement and access network within and between communities will help to increase economic opportunities and access to services, community and recreational facilities. This means not just a more efficient road network, but safer pedestrian facilities such as walkways and pedestrian crossings. Pedestrian links between areas where there are no roads is also to be considered and can be provided as part of the access network.

Increasing access to bus transport is also important for sustainable community development. Providing proper bus shelters and lay-bys at strategic locations will make bus use easier and popular.

It is necessary to provide sufficient car parking where necessary to reduce road congestion and to encourage easy access.

Access to agriculture and back yard gardening

Agriculture is both an important source of local livelihoods and part of Montserrat’s cultural heritage and identity. Efforts are made to ensure that there is sufficient agricultural land close to each community, that appropriate access and water infrastructure are in place. Housing density is also such that plot sizes are sufficient to enable back yard gardening

Environmental management

Quality of life and supporting livelihoods in Montserrat are closely connected to the identification and preservation of environmental assets. In line with the provisions of the PPA (2002) an Environmental Impact Assessment may be required for significant developments. The Local Area Plans provide a high level assessment of the environmental conditions of each area and guide development accordingly.

Living with cultural heritage

Preservation and enhancement of archaeology and built heritage is an important part of development in Montserrat. Cultural heritage forms a strong base for community identity and solidarity. It is also important for tourism development and related economic activity. Implementation of the Local Area plans should follow guidelines set out in PPA (2002).

Reducing the vulnerability to disaster

A central theme for the PDP is reduction of vulnerability to disaster. The natural hazards to which parts of Montserrat are susceptible are listed for each local area an indication of the risk level and location is made. This must influence how certain developments should include appropriate mitigating measures.

The hazard levels in each Local Area are indicated for each hazard type. This is not an objective assessment but risk is based on a number of reports (including Smith Warner 2003; UNDP 2010 and Ford 2011) as well as local knowledge and the aim is to raise awareness of the types of risk posing a threat to each area. These have also been reviewed and endorsed by the DMCA.

Download Local Area Plans Intro – 7.1-2 here.


2 Responses

  1. Pamela Fulford
    Pamela Fulford 25/10/2011 at 1:54 am |

    It is frustrating trying to find the information on the Belham Valley, Old Towne and Isles Bay area, as your plan refers to this area as “not complex and uncontested as follows:
    “It should be noted that the Beachettes areas comprising Woodlands, Olveston, Old Towne and Isles Bay (as defined in Figure 6.1) do not have dedicated LAPs as land use is not complex and is generally uncontested. These areas also form an important part of the catchment areas of Salem and St Peter’s. Policies relating to the land use planning in the Beachettes areas are Policies H3, E2 and RL9.”
    This area is highly contested! Is the PDP ignoring the mining proposal for the Belham Valley? Why is the Belham Valley not going to have a Local Area Plan? And where are these Policies located in the PDP H3, E2, and RL9 for the Belham Valley? Where is Figure 6.1? I am trying to find them on the website, trying to read this while in Canada and it is very frustrating. None of the GIS maps are available on the website. Please make this information clear and available.

  2. Andreas Beavor
    Andreas Beavor 25/10/2011 at 9:02 pm |

    Hi Pam,

    We’ve had some initial problems getting the figures up on the website but they should be part of the downloadable sections by Wednesday 26th October. Sorry about this. In the mean time I’ve sent you the full Draft PDP document.

    We decided that a Local Area Plan (LAP) is not necessary for the Woodlands, Olveston, Old Town and Isles Bay areas as this is a residential area governed mainly by covenants. We are not ignoring the sand mining issue but having an LAP will not change anything. A detailed land use management for the Belham will hopefully come out of the EIA recommendations and not from the PDP. This should include areas where sand mining is be be permitted and areas protected for recreational use, landscape value etc. Bearing this in mind the PDP is only able to identify the Belham Valley area as ‘designated for sand mining – extent to be determined by GOM decision’.

    Andreas, PDP Team


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