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Opposition against planned development order for Negril, calls it 'disastrous'

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NEGRIL, Westmoreland – Opposition spokespersons for Land and Environment and Tourism & Cruise Shipping, Senator Alexander Williams and Shahine Robinson have raised concerns about aspects of a new development order for the Negril/Green Island region of Westmoreland and Hanover.

“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,” Senator Alexander Williams said.

Robinson added similar sentiments as she called on Tourism Minister Dr 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'”.

She said it is “frustrating that McNeill, who also doubles as Negril’s Member of Parliament, refuses to comment on these major issues that can have disastrous impact on Negril and Jamaica’s wider tourism industry.

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The Opposition members said 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.

The members urged 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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