No existing laws to prevent container homes in BVI
Amid the public debate about the construction of container homes in the BVI, the Town & Country Planning Department has confirmed that there are no laws to prevent the construction of these structures in the territory.
Earlier this week, BVI News reported that radio talk show host and clergyman Pastor Claude Skelton Cline expressed that container homes have the potential to devalue the ‘housing stock’ and shouldn’t be allowed in the territory.
But the Head of Town & Country Planning, Greg Adams told BVI News “there are no laws or regulations which prohibit the use of container homes in the BVI.”
Adams also said the Planning Department does not have any issues with container homes, once persons receive approval to build their dwellings.
He also confirmed that container homes are not on the rise in the BVI. “I am aware of one property that was approved for a container home that is presently under construction,” Adams stated.
Speaking on his Honestly Speaking radio show on October 18, Skelton Cline said he noticed that large shipping containers were being used to construct a building in his neighbourhood.
However, Skelton Cline said he is totally against these types of dwellings because he believes they are also unsuitable to withstand certain natural disasters that usually affect the BVI.
Since the BVI News report, some members of the public have expressed that they agree with Skelton Cline.
Others have disagreed, stating that container houses are a good option, especially for young persons who lack the capital to build expensive homes.
BVIslanders generally take pride in building and preserving multi-storey and multi-generational homes. Many use their properties as a source of income — renting to expatriates or hosting short-term renters such as Airbnb guests.
At the same time, many homes in the territory were destroyed or damaged in September 2017 when hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged the BVI.