have been approved, in principle, directly by the cabinet (Malgretoute, Jalousie Enclave, Jalousie Estate), some of which were approved at the highest level in 2009. These decisions are clearly contrary to the World Heritage Committee request for a moratorium on further development (Decision 33 COM 7B.39).
In response to this continuing need for development regulations focusing on conserving the property’s Outstanding Universal Value, a set of “Specific Guidelines” has been drafted by the State Party with a view to controlling developmental activities in the property. These are provided in the State Party report in draft form. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN have reviewed these draft guidelines and do not consider them to provide sufficient assurance that the visual integrity of the site will be protected. For example, the most visually fragile part of the property (e.g. around the base of, and between the pitons), minimum lot sizes of as low as 1,000 square metres are recommended, and a blanket “20 foot” height limit to buildings is recommended, regardless of terrain or location of the proposed building. Should this policy be exploited to its fullest, it could potentially result in several hundred additional homes between the two pitons (there were currently approximately 150 individual residences between the pitons at the time of the mission), many on very steep slopes. The State Party has been requested by the World Heritage Centre to await formal feedback from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN prior to formally adopting these guidelines. They reiterate that additional development incompatible with the property’s Outstanding Universal Value will result in the loss of those values.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the State Party immediately revise both the “Specific Guidelines” and any relevant land use plans and development control regulations to ensure that development within the property is strictly limited and any further development is not permitted, except under exceptional circumstances. Any exceptional permitted development should have no adverse impact on the integrity of the property, including in relation to its aesthetic values. A suggested approach would be to undertake a thorough study of topography and vegetation as a function of preserving the aesthetic values of the property. This information should serve to establish detailed and strict development policies, applicable at fine ground level resolution, strictly regulating the type, location and size of a limited number of any exceptional new constructions, and a clear basis for exceptional justification of development.
Perceptions of World Heritage status
Beyond the issue of development regulations, the mission team noted that the property would benefit from a regional development and public use planning exercise. Currently, there is no apparent overall vision for the property and its surrounding lands. Decisions are made in reaction to development applications, and there is some discord amongst various stakeholder groups as to what World Heritage status should mean for them. These groups (e.g. landowners, and resort owners within - and surrounding the property, the surrounding communities of Choiseul and Soufriere, government agencies and tour operators) should work together to develop a coordinated longer term vision for the region, focusing on conservation and economic development based on the natural attributes of the property.
The State Party reports that the current Pitons Management Area office will be transformed
into an authority, giving it a greater mandate and decision-making powers.
team noted that, in its current Physical Development and
state, this office is considered as a project Environment, with a mandate limited
under the Ministry of to little more than
communication. sufficient skills,
Giving this office a more staffing and resources,
pro-active role in the area, combined with assuring particularly in regards to promoting community
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 71