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Zoning Regulations Breached by Foreign Owned Businesses in Lae

By Julie Badui-Owa – EMTV News, Lae

The city planner for Lae Urban Local Level Government, Celestine Rameng says there is a large number of foreign owned businesses operating in Lae, not complying with the government regulations. In many instances, zoning regulations have been breached and business owners have re-purposed their buildings. Authorities are now hinting at a possible closure exercise in the coming weeks. This is an example of a commercial business operating in a residential area.

According to the Physical Planning Act 1989 under section 72, this can only be legal if the business owner was granted permission from the Physical Planning Board. However, the City Planner for Lae, Celestine Rameng said the business owners did not consult the office of Physical Planning. For any development that is taking place in the city, clearance should be done at the office of Physical Planning. This is to ensure the initial intended purpose specified is in respect of that zone, before it is approved by other authorities including building board and health division.

Mr. Rameng told EMTV News Lae on Tuesday (May 29) that the office of Physical Planning never sighted the documents.

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