Letters

Letter of the week

TOWN PLANNING Tim Howick-Smith, Lami A review of public notices posted by vari­ous municipal councils regarding land re­zoning clearly indicates that in excess of 90 per cent involve rezoning from
18 Nov 2018 12:20
Letter of the week
Letter of the week winner

TOWN PLANNING

Tim Howick-Smith, Lami

A review of public notices posted by vari­ous municipal councils regarding land re­zoning clearly indicates that in excess of 90 per cent involve rezoning from “Residential” to either “Commercial” or “Industrial/Heavy Industrial”.

Surely enlightened Town and Country Planning should ensure that areas of towns designated as residential should be preserved as such, together with their sur­rounding environments, and not subject to the increasing incursion of, and destruction by, commercial and industrial activities.

As a resident of Lami I wonder how long the council will be able, in good faith, to maintain their billboards welcoming visi­tors to “The Garden Town”!

Inevitably this trend reduces the amount of available residential land.

This increases the cost of such land, mak­ing it even more unaffordable for people to buy or build their own homes.

At the same time the invasion of commer­cial/industrial activities into residential areas threatens the property values of homes in which people have invested their life’s savings.

Whenever one tries to preserve residential areas faced with the threat of commercial or industrial activities one is accused of be­ing against “development and job creation”.

It is unfortunate that, despite whatever concerned members of the public may try to do to question such rezoning, the pressures of so called “developers” will inevitably and ultimately prevail.

We do not have to choose between eco­nomic development or residential areas and the environment.

Effective Town and Country Planning can contribute to both – by pursuing and prac­ticing genuine “environmentally sustain­able economic development”.

I have repeatedly suggested to the authorities concerned that they need to identify additional land outside residential areas to be devoted to commercial and/or industrial activities.

Such industrial zones/parks will be able to absorb the increasing need of existing and new companies to expand.

If developed using modern internationally recognised standards they can both facili­tate efficient operations whilst at the same time enabling monitoring potential, and mitigating against, environmental hazards.

For many of us our residential homes are where we can relax, bring up our children in safety, enjoy our retirement and sleep in peace.

Our gardens are where we derive much-needed exercise, grow flowers and fresh food, and at least in some small way con­tribute to the preservation of the environ­ment.

Many of us do not wish – or be able to af­ford – to move into the apartments that are mushrooming up in all over towns, that are devoid of a “community”, and where we are unlikely to get to know or care for our neighbours.

TIM HOWICK- SMITH is our second Letter of the Week winner for the month of November.



Five Square diwali dhamaka 2021


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
FNPF
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper