29 Mar 2007

Solomon Islands planning board quits due to political interference

3:38 pm on 29 March 2007

A member of the Solomon Islands Town and Country Planning board says they resigned en masse because of political interference in their decisions.

Justin Fo'u says the interference has resulted in the development of prime waterfront land despite the board allocating the land for public use and open space.

He says the board has turned down applications by developers but these have been overturned and allowed by the Lands Minister, the Reverend Lesley Boseto.

Mr Fo'u says under the planning board's constitution, the minister has the last say but the decisions haven't been good for Honiara.

"We've written a resignation letter to the minister, due to the inconsistencies of the minister's behaviour, turning down all the decisions made by the Town and Country board. The decisions were turned in favour of some cronies."

Mr Fo'u says the minister asked the board to remain in place while he considers the issues but no meetings have been held to date.