Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG, Citizen of Barbados
As the Nation Newspaper rightly stated in today’s Sunday Sun front page article entitled “Hyatt go-ahead up to PM“, for the past 30 years the Law in Barbados has stipulated that all applications for planning permission to construct buildings on the “beach front” are referred to the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning (the Prime Minister) for his consideration and decision. Indeed, the Law specifically states that such applications shall NOT be dealt with by the Chief Town Planner. (See section 18 of the Town and Country Planning Act and the Town and Country Planning Directions that were made in 1986 under the said section 18 (statutory instrument 1986/103).
Surely, this is a legal stipulation that every Minister of Government must be aware of– particularly Ministers who hold the directly relevant portfolios of Tourism, Finance, and Industry!
And just as surely, this has to be a legal stipulation that every investor who proposes to embark on a multi-million dollar hotel project on the “beach front” of Barbados must be aware of!
And so, we have to conclude that Mr Mark Maloney, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, and Minister of Industry Donville Inniss were ALWAYS fully aware that the ONLY entity who could grant planning permission to construct a 15 storey Hyatt Hotel at Carlisle Bay was and is the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr Freundel Stuart !
Now, if the Nation Newspaper is correct when it reports that the Town and Country Planning Office recently submitted a 29 page document to the Prime Minister for his vetting, and that the said document contains concerns about and objections to the proposed Hyatt Hotel from a number of organizations (inclusive of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, the Barbados National Trust, the Barbados Museum, and the Barbados Building Standards Authority), as well as 56 detailed conditions that the Chief Town Planner would wish to have applied to the said proposed project,
IT MEANS THAT NO PERMISSION HAS EVER BEEN GRANTED FOR THE COMMENCEMENT OF THIS HYATT HOTEL PROJECT!
And if this is the case— as it undoubtedly is — how was it possible for Minster Chris Sinckler and Minister Richard Sealy to join with Mr Mark Maloney at a so-called “signing ceremony” on the 26th of July 2016, and to support Mr Maloney as he brazenly informed the people of Barbados that he would be commencing construction of the said 15 storey Hyatt Hotel within a two month period of time!
Furthermore, how was it possible for Minister Donville Inniss to get up in the House of Assembly on the 18th of August 2016— a full three weeks subsequent to the “signing ceremony” and after serious reservations had been raised in the public domain — and publicly assure the nation that all of the necessary studies and assessments had been carried out and that the application had been approved with conditions attached !
Haven’t Ministers Sinckler, Sealy and Inniss been thoroughly delinquent in carrying out their duties as Ministers of Government? Haven’t they contributed to and participated in an exercise in which the country has been shamelessly and callously misled ? Haven’t they demonstrated that they are more loyal and beholden to Mr Mark Maloney than they are to their Prime Minister, their constituents, or indeed to the people of Barbados?
Henceforth, can the people of Barbados be expected to believe or trust anything that these Ministers say or do? Can the people of Barbados be expected to repose any further confidence in these Ministers?
And haven’t we seen precisely this type of behaviour over and over again from this current Governmental Administration ? Indeed, didn’t we see it with the Cahill fiasco?
Isn’t it time for some heads to roll ? Isn’t it time for some resignations or dismissals?