Seychelles Strategic and Land Use Plan 2040

Seychelles Strategic and Land Use Plan 2040

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Seychelles is a land of opportunity. Over the last 40 years these opportunities have been capitalised on resulting in significant progress. The country now boasts the highest Human Development Index in Africa and ranks second in terms of income. It also compares favourably with other small island states for education, health, literacy and environmental protection.

  • The Plan addresses a range of questions about the future, including, what might the country look like?
  • What kind of country should Seychelles be both for Seychellois and visitors?
  • And how can the country’s economic, social and environmental challenges be addressed to ensure the country is resilient and continues to prosper?  

In response to these questions, a vision for the country has been developed.

An inclusive, proud, happy and healthy Island Nation with a resilient economy and a pristine environment which provides an attractive place to visit, invest, work and live.

The vision emphasises the importance of maximising the assets that make Seychelles unique; the Seychellois people, Creole and family culture, heritage and the natural environment. It also identifies the importance of an integrated approach to land use, transport planning and environmental management, together with the need to build a more resilient nation capable of adapting to the challenges of the future.

The vision forms the heart of the Seychelles Strategic Land Use and Development Plan (‘the Plan’), which provides a framework for guiding future development to 2040. In doing so, it balances the needs for development and economic growth against the protection of the natural and built environment to ensure a high quality of life for all.

The vision also provides the strategic context for the Victoria Masterplan, which contains a co-ordinated strategy to guide the future development and growth of the capital city.

Locating Seychelles

One of the defining features of Seychelles is its expansive archipelago with 115 islands and large exclusive economic zone. The Plan provides guidance which applies to all islands. This includes the 41 inner islands and 74 outer islands (Figure 1.2). The outer islands are located beyond the Seychelles plateau; access is generally limited to scientists, volunteers, yachtsmen and those visiting exclusive island resorts. The inner islands can be split into two groups. Mahé, Praslin and La Digue (Figure 1.3) accommodate some 99% of the country’s population and will form the main locations for growth over the next 25 years. The other 38 inner islands are relatively remote and sparsely populated with extensive conservation areas and nature reserves.

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Purpose of the Plan

The Plan sets out the long term spatial planning framework for the country up to 2040. It guides the amount and location of development, help ensure infrastructure provision is aligned with growth locations and provide a tool for co-ordinated decision making and investment. In order to do this, it:

describes the forecast growth in population
and employment;

explains the residential, tourism, industrial, office and retail growth required and where it will be located;

outlines the strategy for each topic, which is supported by strategic diagrams and policies;

contains a greater level of detail on the locations for growth on Mahé through a series of framework plans; and

sets out how the identified proposals and projects should be implemented.

How the Seychellois Have Informed the Plan

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The Plan is a ‘Plan for Seychelles by the Seychellois’. A collaborative approach was adopted to preparing the Plan to ensure all voices were given the opportunity to be heard. This included three Charettes where in total nearly 400 representatives of Government ministries, the private sector and non-governmental organisations provided guidance and direction on the Plan and its content including:

  • Charette 1 (September 2014): identified opportunities and constraints for growth and explored potential locations for growth by developing three growth scenarios.
  • Charette 2 (January 2015): agreed the preferred growth strategy and started developing the topic strategies for the Plan and concepts to be included in the Victoria Masterplan.
  • Charette 3 (May 2015): reviewed and tested the draft Plans and explored how the Plans could be delivered and implemented.

Consultation was also held with the communities on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue to ensure local knowledge, aspirations and challenges informed the Plan. Over 1,600 people attended the three phases of consultation:

  • Phase 1 community consultation (September/October 2014): identified key issues and priority opportunities in communities’ local areas they would like to be addressed by the Plan.
  • Phase 2 community consultation (January/February 2015): provided feedback on the emerging proposals for the Victoria Masterplan and proposed locations for new development, including housing, jobs, community facilities, transport infrastructure and the tourism offer.
  • Phase 3 community consultation (August 2015): provided feedback on the draft Plans.

In order to develop the Plans, background studies and reports (listed in Appendix A) were prepared. These studies and reports were produced with the assistance and input of Government ministries
and departments.

How to Use the Plan

It is anticipated that the Plan will be used in a variety of ways:

By Government ministries and departments:

Provides the spatial context within which other national, island wide or sub-island programmes that have development and/or land use implications will need to be prepared.

Sets the context within which the Land Use Plans should be reviewed and prepared. The Plan establishes growth locations and the broad locations for different land uses; these will need to be reflected in the Land Use Plans.

Will be an advisory plan approved by Government of Seychelles (GoS) which will guide the consideration and determination of planning applications by Seychelles Planning Authority.

By developers and other sectors to inform future development proposals. The Plan provides guidance on the amount and type of growth anticipated across Seychelles and sets out detailed requirements with which development proposals will be expected to demonstrate compliance.

Structure of the Plan

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In addition, to creating a shared aspiration for the country, the vision provides the inspiration for the Plan and ensures that all proposals are aligned. The vision is founded on ten guiding principles which support the realisation of sustainable development, the opportunities of the blue economy and environmental, economic and social resilience (which are presented overleaf).

The guiding principles have informed the topic strategies, upon which the policies in the Plan are based. To ensure that the policies can be implemented actions have been identified; performance indicators are also presented to enable progress on implementation of the Plan to be measured.