Bahrain clamps on ‘bad taste’ buildings
Manama, September 3, 2011
Owners of buildings with ‘unacceptable’ designs in Bahrain will be directed to repaint suitably, make necessary design changes to building and home fronts and possibly remodel damaged parts, said a top official.
The move will be carried out before legal action is taken against violators, said municipality director-general Yousif Al Ghatam.
"We have every right to go around and fine violators and we have done that in the past, but we believe that awareness is more important," he added.
The colour and design regulations will be added as a by-law that will accompany the new building criteria bill to be drafted by the Cabinet and presented to the National Assembly within the upcoming months.
Several people faced fines of up to BD500 ($1,326) after ignoring a crackdown on the Capital Governorate's so-called 'rainbow buildings and homes' over the past year.
Spot fines ranging from BD50 to BD500 were imposed on all homes listed by municipality inspectors, with a month's notice being given to them to repaint the buildings and make necessary changes before legal action was taken.
The municipality's current building contracts include a range of allowed colours, besides the different levels of white such as light beige and light pink, among others.
"Manama should be the most beautiful place in the country considering that it is the capital and this requires support from the public to ensure that their buildings and homes are not eyesores," he said.
"A clean building and home reflect the personality of its owner in the first place and that's the concept we are trying to convey, that taste could be polluted too. Now, it will be just notifying people about changes they will have to make to their buildings and homes, whether in colour, design or fixing them and later on whenever we feel that there was enough time given, punishments will be issued."
Al Ghatam, who has also compiled the new nationwide building criteria law, said municipal regulations already existed in the Capital Governorate to control the design and colour of all buildings, including homes.
"Current governorate regulations stipulate that in order for homeowners to get an electricity permit, the house should be painted 70 per cent in a light colour, especially at the front, and 30pc in any colour they wished anywhere else," he said.
"Those regulations are old and a huge burden on people's shoulders considering that light colours get dirty fast due to the dust, which means that repainting is required.”
"This is why we are not that strict on enforcing it and have allowed people to choose from a range of colours, but that doesn't mean we will accept every colour because there are some that are ugly and don't match certain patterns,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service