Help & FAQs


Building Development FAQs

1.      Why do I need to make an application to the Environmental Protection Department (EPD)?

a.    The Health Services (Building) Regulations, 1969 require persons to obtain the permission of the Minister of Health through the Director of the Environmental Protection Department before:

                                                               i.       Constructing any building,

                                                             ii.       Extending any building and;

                                                           iii.      Carrying out any material alteration to any building.

It should be noted that it is an offence to construct, extend, or affect any material alteration without first obtaining permission from the Minister of Health through the Director, EPD, as required by the Regulations.                  

2.       What is the process of making an application?

New construction applications should be submitted to the Town Country and Development Planning Office, copies of those applications will be sent to the EPD for review. Material alterations to previously approved construction should be submitted to the EPD for review using the following procedure.

a.                   Fill out an application form in duplicate (available at the office or download from the website).

b.                   For commercial and industrial development activities, submit a narrative of the proposal detailing the activities, preventive and mitigative measures, occupancy, and operating times other pertinent information that would adequately describe the activities to be carried out at the facility.

c.                   Submit two (2) copies of scaled architectural drawings not less than 1/8” to 1’-0” (1:100) inclusive of:

a.       Location plans – a partial road map with names of roads and prominent features giving directions to the site.

b.       Floor plans – rooms should be clearly labeled and dimensioned, windows and door openings indicated, the plumbing fixtures and appliances are shown.

c.       Elevations – a minimum of two elevations showing the external windows and doors, steps, ramps, etc. to correspond with the floor plan.

d.        Cross Sections – of rooms*, stairs*, swimming pools, containment bunds, etc. (where applicable*).

e.       Window and door schedules – of the type, size, and functionality (operable or fixed).

f.        Site plan – showing the locations but not limited to the following features:

                                                                                       i.       the waste disposal systems inclusive of grease traps, inspection chamber/manhole, septic tanks, filter beds, sewerage treatment, and absorption/suck well;

                                                                                     ii.      Other structures (storage sheds);

                                                                                   iii.      Equipment such as generators, potable water storage tanks and,    setbacks from adjacent properties.

g.       The waste lines from the plumbing fixtures for each floor should be clearly shown and culminate at a central point before entering the grease trap and or inspection chamber/manhole, before the final disposal into an absorption/suck well.

h.       Scaled details of grease trap chambers, filter beds, septic tanks, fuel containment bunds, etc.

i.         Mechanical ventilation system - details of the air conditioning and exhaust systems.


3.       How long will it take to receive a decision on an application?    

A decision should be granted on an application within forty-two (42) days of receipt of the application.  However, delays will occur when an applicant and or agent fails to submit additional information or plans when requested to do so or when consultation with other government agencies is sought.

4.       What happens when the requested information is not received?            

The application would be refused for failing to comply with the specific requirements within the Health Services (Building) Regulations, 1969 that were not satisfied.        

5.       What can a person do if his/her application was refused?           

 A person can submit a new application following the steps outlined at 2 in addition to satisfying the requested information that they failed to submit.

6.       Do you have any information about septic tanks?           

                Information on septic tanks is available in the Building Development Booklet.

7.       What are the requirements for the disposal of household waste in different water zones?         

                Information on waste disposal is available in the Building Development Booklet.


Noise FAQs

1.     Does this Department handle workplace noise?

This Department does not handle noise in the workplace; it falls under the mandate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations. 

2.       Do noise standards for Barbados exist?

No. However, the EPD references the World Health Organization Noise guidelines, which were recommended in the Cabinet approved Noise Policy of 2007.      

3.       Are vibrations considered noise?

 No, vibrations are not considered noise.

4.       What causes the thumping when listening to music?

 The low-frequency portion of the music usually referred to as the bass is the cause of the thumping.