Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Letter of the Day: Davies responds to National Heroes Park development queries

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Reference is made to letter published on January 8, 2016, 'Give details on Heroes Park Development'. Please see responses below:

(1) Will the new Parliament building be built on the National Heroes Park (NHP) site?

Currently, there is no design for a new Parliament building. But the northern section of the park has been zoned for a future Parliament building should the decision be taken to site the building there.

(2) Will the crab, soup, boiled and roasted corn vendors be relocated in the National Heroes Park from their current location?

The crab, soup, boiled and roasted corn vendors will not be relocated wholesale into the NHP. However, the design includes provisions for shops that will include food establishments. The opportunity will be available for the leasing or renting of shops to those vendors who wish to sell their produce.

(3) Will the former cycle track be resuscitated?

The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing (MTWH) recognises the history of cycling at the NHP and the fact that there is a current biannual cycling race that takes place around the park. Therefore, the redevelopment plan for the park includes the realignment of cycling lanes around its perimeter. This will facilitate cycling races of that nature as well as its everyday use by patrons of the Park.

(4) Will the basic school remain at its present site at West National Circle?

The relocation of the school is a matter that is being managed by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC). The school will not remain in the park.

(5) Will the boxing gym next door to the basic school remain at its present location?

Currently, there is no existing boxing gym structure, but in recognition of the importance of boxing to the site, the MTWH has made provisions for calisthenics equipment and stations to be located around the park for persons who are interested in training for boxing.

(6) Will the park continue to serve as a parking lot for the Ministry of Finance and Planning?

The redevelopment plan for the NHP makes provision for parking in the service zones which can be utilised in the short and medium term by the Ministry of Finance and Planning, as well as by users of the park.

(7) Will Kingstonians be able to jog in the park in order to keep fit?

Yes, Kingstonians, community residents, and by extension, all Jamaicans will be able to jog in the park similar to the Emancipation Park.

(8) Will a property manager be appointed?

The NHP is owned by the KSAC and currently maintained by the National Solid Waste Management Authority, in particular the Shrine area heading south. The National Heritage Trust currently has responsibility for the Shrine and they will continue to do so. Based on the lessons learnt from the success of the management structure for Emancipation Park, a similar arrangement will be made for the management of NHP.

(9) What arrangements will there be for photography and videography?

Photography and videography will be managed similarly to the arrangement in place at Emancipation Park.

(10) What arrangements are being put in place for group visits, i.e., schools, groups and tourists?

Arrangements for group visits (i.e. schools, groups and tourists) will be facilitated through the management structure of the Park which is being developed.

I acknowledge your suggestion to post the design plans for the project in various public spaces. Please note that three (3) construction billboards will be erected at strategic locations around the NHP site for viewing by the public. These will be installed January 22, 2016. In the meantime, the UDC website provides information, as well as a link that features images from the redevelopment plan for the Park.

Omar Davies, MP

Minister