Companies found flouting building, country planning orders

Azlan Othman

A local construction company hired to renovate a house in Kampong Lumapas was found to have carried out building works without a permit from the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi).

The landowner had complained to the ABCi about the delay in the completion of the project, despite the continual progress payments for the building works.

The ABCi issued a notice to the construction company regarding the alleged offence under Section 24(1)(b) of the Building Control Order 2014 (BCO), for building without a permit.

If convicted, the offence carries a penalty of a fine not more than BND200,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

The case has also been reported to the police for investigation.

On March 17, the ABCi lodged a police report against a batching plant company in Brunei-Muara District, for obstructing its officers from entering the premises to conduct an inspection.

An abandoned project. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

Under Section 56 of the Building Control Order 2014 (BCO), ABCi has the power to enter any premises at certain hours, for the purpose of determining any contraventions against the Order.

However, despite the ABCi’s explanation, the company refused to allow entry on
the premises.

ABCi issued a stern reminder that any person who wilfully obstructs its officers in the performance of their legal duties is an offence punishable by a fine of not more than BND10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

Meanwhile, the Planning Authority ordered an illegal sawmill in Kampong Sengkurong B, Mukim Sengkurong to cease operations for violating Section 23 (2), Town and Country Planning Order, 2015 (TCPO), in carrying out development activities without approval from the Planning Authority.

The development was carried out on land reserved for agricultural purposes, and also encroached on the route into the reserve area.

The sawmill activities were causing environmental pollution affecting the surrounding
residential area.

The operator complied with the Planning Authority’s order in June, by completely demolishing the development.

The public is reminded to comply with the planning laws, in particular Section 23 TCPO, which provides that no person shall carry out development, subdivision or consolidation of any land, or carry out work in a conservation area without approval from the
Planning Authority.

Failure to comply is an offence which carries a fine of not more than BND200,000.

Contact the ABCi hotline at 8140365 for inquiries. The public may also contact the Department of Town and Country Planning hotline at 8200 222, for complaints and planning advice.