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Follow the law on Hyatt

Government’s plans to expand the layout of the proposed Hyatt hotel will not face any opposition from social activist David Comissiong once it is properly and lawfully done.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY on Government’s new proposal, Comissiong said he would have no issue once the proper procedures were followed. He explained though, that Government would now have to make a new application as the building plans were being changed.

“If it is that there is a proposal to make a new application for new permission to construct a different type of hotel, no longer a 15-storey hotel but a hotel of a different configuration, then that new application or proposal has to go through the legal procedure; that is it has to be subjected to an EIA inclusive of the holding of townhall meetings where I and other members of the Barbadian public could receive information, ask questions and make objections if we feel so inclined to do so,” Comissiong, the Ambassador to CARICOM said.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley recently announced that Government was against the previous plan of having the Hyatt built on two spots in Bridgetown. Instead, she revealed that the US$100 million hotel would now be constructed on three lots after
Government’s compulsory acquisition of nearby property.

On March 2017, Comissiong filed for a judicial review of the permissions granted by then Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Hyatt developer Mark Maloney for the construction of the hotel based on a perceived failure by Maloney to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) at the construction site.

He also questioned the impact the proposed 15-storey hotel would have on the area, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Stuart filed a counter-claim but Justice Sonia Richards ruled that Comissiong did in fact have the right to challenge Stuart’s decision.

“All we have to do in Barbados is to follow the law, that’s all we have to do. If there is a new application and it is taken through the correct process of an EIA, we would all have the opportunity to pose the probing questions about whether it will do damage to Barbados’ UNESCO World Heritage site designation, whether it will do physical damage to the beach, whether it will do sociological damage to Barbadians’ access to that particular beach. We would have an opportunity to ventilate all of these issues,” Comissiong added.

The social activist said he was not yet aware of any new application which had been made by Government.
randybennett@barbadostoday.bb

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