Negril's Development Poorly Handled

Release Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 19:00

Opposition Spokespersons for the Land and Environment and Tourism & Cruise Shipping, Senator Alexander Williams and Shahine Robinson MP are raising serious concerns about aspects of a new development order for the Negril/Green Island region of Westmoreland and Hanover. The matter adds to Opposition’s strong belief that the area’s development is very poorly handed.

“Under the new Development Order, developers will be allowed to construct commercial buildings of up to four floors tall. There are also reports that new developments will be allowed to build closer to the sea. The law currently states that buildings must be set back from the high water mark by at least 150 feet. We need clarification on these matters now", said Environment Spokesperson Senator Alexander Williams.

Senator Williams also stated that it was outrageous that these changes are being piloted by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Minister, Robert Pickersgill.

In the meantime, Mrs. Robinson called on Tourism Minister, Wykeham McNeill, to break his silence on the issue given mounting concerns that the planned move will upset Negril’s famed coastline, cause irreparable environmental damage and as such permanently damage Negril image as the laidback 'capital of casual'. Mrs. Robinson also expressed frustration at the fact that Minister McNeill, who also doubles as Negril’s Member of Parliament, refuses to comment on these major issues that can have a ruinous impact on Negril and Jamaica ’s wider tourism industry.

Senator Williams went to state that this new controversy comes on the heels of the hugely controversial breakwater project – for which multiple objections on environmental and economic grounds have been raised by stakeholders and experts. He called on Minister Pickersgill to let good sense prevail and take another look at the critical role his portfolio assignment plays in Jamaica’s sustainable development whereby we meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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