Draft Physical Development Plan Calls for Impact Assessments –Hyatt Hotel to be Built WITHOUT Impact Assessment Studies

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Some are of the mistaken view that BU is anti-investment because we have advocated against projects like Cahill Energy and of most recent, the Hyatt Hotel project. Let us be pellucid as the English language allows, we are NOT. Instead all we ask is for our government to be forthcoming with relevant and timely information to ensure the citizenry is kept informed as is our right under our system of government. Pages of Auditor General reports support the scepticism of citizens that successive government have surrendered to corrupt behaviour and lazy management practices. If there was doubt the the recent Cahill Energy fiasco with a preponderance of  evidence confirmed the Stuart government made many questionable decisions. How are citizens expected to be confident in this government to implement large projects? Of recent there is the Del Maestro transaction which provokes the obvious questions: what would have motivated the principals of Deltro to freight millions of dollars in equipment to Barbados –stored at the Barbados ort Authority -BEFORE approvals from the Town Planning Department and the relevant government ministries  are approved?

The Hyatt hotel project continues to generate a lot of chatter. At first many reacted to the fact that Mark Maloney, a principal in Vision Development Incorporated responsible for mobilizing the project, was again the face of a major project in Barbados. Of recent, the conversation has rightly shifted to the fact Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and therefore the Hyatt hotel should blend with the surrounding environment.

After waiting months on Prime Minister Stuart to approve the Hyatt project when the Town Planning Department kicked it upstairs, it was reported last week that the the green light was finally given.  Surprisingly,  the media report claimed that  an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was vetoed for the project after the government was advised by lawyers it is not required. Who are these lawyers? Are they from the Solicitor’s Office?

Commonsense supports the expectation that an EIA is absolutely necessary to be conducted to support a project given its mooted footprint. The footprint is defined as a hotel with 237 rooms, to be built on 3 acres of beachfront land. We will have to wait for information to trickle to the people of the number of storeys approved. To be expected the government read Prime  Minister Stuart has not called what should be the obligatory press conference to update Barbadians . This is the scant regard these educated members of the political class hold Barbadians. This was confirmed recently in parliament by Minister Steve Blackett who questioned why a town hall was necessary.  BU will resist the temptation to go low, JA.

If commonsense was not enough to support an EIA as a condition for approval for the Hyatt hotel project, the BU family was directed to the Draft Physical Development Plan (DPDP) dated February 2017 posted to the Town Planning Department website. Not only does the DPDP call for an EIS to be used as a tool to assess proposed development and a condition for approval, also, Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), Agricultural Impact Assessments (AIA), Traffic Impact Assessments (TIA) where deemed relevant. Here is a quote from the DPDP:

Where ESIAs, HIA, AIS or TIA (Impact Assessments) are required, they shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner, prior to approval being given. Approvals of development subject to Impact Assessments may contain certain conditions of approval to ensure that adverse impacts of such development are mitigated.

We have the report of last week that an EIA is not required for the project. We have the report extracted from the DPDP that supports Impact Assessments to be completed as condition for approval by TPD. Will anybody inform the citizens of Barbados what the hell is going on?

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

82 Comments on “Draft Physical Development Plan Calls for Impact Assessments –Hyatt Hotel to be Built WITHOUT Impact Assessment Studies”

  1. millertheanunnaki February 14, 2017 at 11:20 AM #

    @ Alvin CumminsFebruary 14, 2017 at 10:29 AM
    “The Pierced Marina Project WAS CONCEPTUALIZED by, and was supposed to be built etc, by BS&T, before it was sold to Massy. It was not a concept of the DLP. It was supposed to have been built long before the BLP left office, so don’t pin that on the DLP, like you do so many other things which you failed to to.”

    So too (to) was the Four Seasons Deadweight which you have taken over and sunk millions of dollars of the workers’ NIS contributions into.

    Even up to this day nothing is forthcoming to shed light on this elusive project (which has been finally ‘captured’ by a ‘known’ investors) despite a promise in August 2016 to deliver an update to Parliament.

    PS: You conveniently forgot to state the same Pierhead Marina project was ‘Redesigned’ under your DLP administration at a cost of $40 million with only a sandbank to show for its conceptual success.

    Maybe the Quisling Boyce can inform you of his bagatelle salted away in an IBC in St. Lucia as a result of the shifting financial sand.

    Like

  2. Prodigal Son February 14, 2017 at 12:14 PM #

    miller

    Waste no time with this jackass!

    Like

  3. Colonel Buggy February 14, 2017 at 1:29 PM #

    Hants February 13, 2017 at 8:28 PM #

    Anyone knows if any nearby buildings will be affected when they start driving piles?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Yes , one nearby building is expected to be affected by piles, piles of yankee dollar bills .

    The Prime Minister in his capacity as minister in charge of the Town and Country Planning Department ,is to pay another visit to Bay Street.
    While many Barbadians are questioning the erection of a 15 storey building in Bay Street, one acquired Barbadian is gearing up to take advantage of the expected spin off of the Hyatt Hotel when it comes on stream.
    The owner of Liquidation Center,who at times is a law unto herself, has applied for planning permission to renovate and convert the existing old Plantations building. The PM was due to inspect the premises yesterday before he gives his approval.
    One wonders what type of business that Mrs Ram would venture into to grab some of the tourist dollars from next door. Perhaps a casino?
    I do hope that when the PM visits the property , he is not assaulted by some of the uninvited residents who have been squatting upstairs in that building for a year or two,……………a troop of oversize monkeys that are unable to make their way out.

    Like

  4. Well Well & Consequences February 14, 2017 at 5:16 PM #

    Fruendel said the chief town planner said there is no need for a study.

    Like

  5. David February 17, 2017 at 6:43 PM #

     

    Dale Marshall

    19 hrs ·

    A few thoughts on the Prime Minister’s assertion that an EIA is not required in respect of the intended Hyatt Hotel to be built in Bay Street….

    The Town and Country Planning Act (Cap.240) does not contain any mention of an Environmental Impact Study / Assessment.

    However, section 16 provides that in considering a planning application, the Chief Town Planner must have regard to the provisions of the National Development Plan, and "any other material considerations..".

    Section 17(1) provides that an application for planning permission, if requested by the Chief Town, may be accompanied by an assessment of the impact that the development is likely to have on the environment of Barbados.

    I concede that this section refers to the overall environment of Barbados.

    Section 17 (1A) goes on to stipulate that the Chief Town Planner SHALL request such an assessment where part or all of the development is proposed to occur in the coastal zone management area. For this purpose I am assuming that Carlisle Bay is such an area, since no definition is to be found in the Act. This requirement is not discretionary but mandatory.

    Section 17 (1C) also requires that the Minister SHALL consult with the Director of Coastal Zone Management. Is it far fetched that this consultation would be to establish what impact the hotel

    would have on the coastal zone? I think not and one must assume that, if so consulted, the issue would have been subjected to the most in depth examination.

    While the nature of the assessment is not stipulated in the act, is it so far fetched that it should be in the nature of an environmental impact assessment? I think not.

    One assumes that the views of individuals in the surrounding areas would be material considerations too. In the High Court case of Archer v. Chief Town Planner, decided in 2014, it is recited that the Chief Town Planner wrote to individuals owning lands adjoining a property in Valley View, St. George, which was intended to be converted from a residence to a day nursery. He did this because he considered that their views were material considerations which he should take into account before making a decision on the application for change of use.

    Surely if such was the standard for such a minor development, that the same would obtain for a 15 floor hotel on Carlisle Bay.

    In the case of the Hyatt, it would therefore seem reasonable for adjoining property owners and other interested parties to be consulted by the Chief Town Planner before the directing the application for the Minister’s decision.

    It would also seem reasonable that a thorough assessment of the impact of the development should be requested of the developer, and given the fragile nature of Carlisle Bay, such an assessment should include environmental matters, also called an EIA.

    It would seem reasonable that such an assessment should be subject to the greatest possible scrutiny by the Coastal Zone Management Unit.

    If all of these things are reasonable, surely the Prime Minister could give us the comfort of knowing that they were done, even if he does not want to consider them collectively to be an EIA.

    Instead, his only offering is that the Chief Town Planner did not consider an EIA to be necessary?

    That sounds like a gigantic cop out to me!!!

    But then again, when the rest of the world had long seen the CLICO report, his excuse was that it had not yet been sent to him.

    And he didn’t know either that people charged with murder were being granted bail.

    And I rather suspect that he doesn’t know that the Governor of the Central Bank has Chris Sinckler in Court either…..

    Like

  6. David February 19, 2017 at 9:19 AM #

    @enuff et al fyi

    Credit to VOB for bringing the deputy Chief Town Planner on Brasstacks today to discuss the physical development plan. Of interest -there are ads in the press of the TPD advertising sessions at various locations to explain the draft physical development plan.

    Like

  7. David February 19, 2017 at 4:04 PM #

    @enuff

    Do you agree with the deputy Town Planner that Stratigic EIA was done for the area of Broad Street and therefore one is not necessarily required for the Hyatt project?

    Note the Facebook conversation BU had this morning on the subject.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: