NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister responsible for Physical Planning in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), is pleased that the Department of Physical Planning has recorded a steady number of applications for construction projects so far for 2020, which he says indicates a buoyant construction sector on the island.
While speaking at an NIA town hall meeting at the Albertha Payne Community Centre on August 06, Minister Brand revealed comparative statistics for construction applications for January to June over the past six years.
“Between the months of January and June 2020, we have seen some 120 applications that were submitted to the Planning Department. From that 120 we saw 97 were approved, and of those 97 that were approved, some 70 of those have started construction.
“In 2015 over the same period we saw some 55 approvals. In 2016 we saw some 55 buildings that were started. In 2017 we saw 84. In 2018 we saw 62, and in 2019 we saw 88,” he said.
Hon. Brand pointed out that the construction sector is a critical area not only to jumpstart the economy from the downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to create some much needed employment.
“I am very much encouraged by the sustainability of the construction sector at the moment. This is a good sign as it relates to opportunities for employment.
“It also would give some buoyancy to the various hardware businesses and is a good indicator that persons are seeking financing through our various financial institutions,” he said in an interview with the Department of Information.
Highlighting the NIA’s stimulus package of concessions offered for the construction sector as part of the government’s response to the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister said he is hopeful that persons would take advantage of it and construct their homes and businesses.
“We are now seeing that the construction sector is continuing to hold its own and I believe it’s a win-win situation for all stakeholders and the economy on a whole,” he said.