‘Illegal billboards’

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Political parties are being accused of erecting billboards across the country without the necessary approval from the Development Control Authority (DCA).
The information was provided to OBSERVER media by an official within the Ministry of Works and Housing, who could not be named because that individual did not have the authority to speak on the matter.
The official also said that there is at least one billboard on Friar’s Hill Road, that is posing a problem for ongoing work there.
The ministry source pointed out that, workmen from the Antigua Public Utilities Authority are doing the groundwork along that road to install pipelines as part of a phased rehabilitation project.
And, the billboard in question is impeding the work. The source said that while the engineers on the project are concerned, they do not have the authority to remove it.
The billboard does not have any advertising on it so, without a comment from the DCA, it is not known who owns it. It is positioned on the stretch on Friars Hill Road, between the service station and the cemetery.
Meanwhile, officials from the Development Control Authority (DCA), who have the authority to do so, are refusing to speak with this media entity on whether the political parties have been given permission to erect billboards in various locations.
Earlier this month, the DCA issued a statement advising that it was the only organisation with the power to grant permission for anyone to put up a billboard.
The press release from the statutory corporation did not say whether the body had approved the billboards being erected across the country and whether the department was following up to ensure the billboards were being erected according to law.
When contacted on Wednesday afternoon, Frederick Southwell, chief town and country planner, said he had nothing to say about the matter.
Dean Jonas, a member of the DCA board, also told our newsroom he was not in the loop as to some of the developments at the authority and Southwell could have provided the information.
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