Mon | Aug 21, 2017

What's happening at Long Bay?

Published:Friday | December 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) needs to shed some light on what is taking place at the Long Bay Beach Park Phase Two, which was once open to the public and was operated by the corporation along the pristine seven-mile stretch of beach in Negril. It is quite evident that the beach and its facilities are now closed to the public. The parcel of land on which the change room and bathrooms exist is now completely fenced, preventing access by the public. There are no signs posted on the property to indicate what is happening, and the people are only left to speculate as to the future of the property.

It is observed that a number of trees and other plant life are being destroyed and removed from the narrow plot of land. As far as I am aware, any development taking place in Negril should be given the approval of the Negril Green Island Planning Authority, and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), as well as other government agencies. The removal of large trees and other vegetation from this beach area cannot be a good thing for the environment, given the sensitivity of this area. It should be noted that Negril is already suffering from a serious beach-erosion problem which is threatening the survival of business interests in the area. The Negril community was very robust in its stance to not allow the Government to push through with its proposal to construct break-waters and groins to solve the beach-erosion problem, but instead look to a softer alternative to the problem. I applaud the community for standing up for its rights, but I am a bit puzzled at their silence at this time on what is happening at Long Bay Beach.

The UDC, under whose portfolio this parcel of land falls, as well as the government agencies responsible for regulating development, needs to shed some light on what is happening. The Negril Green Island Planning Authority, NEPA, as well as the Hanover Municipal Corporation, need to come forward and shed some light on this situation. As citizens, we need to be made aware of the following:

- any likely development to take place on the property;

- the identity of the developers;

- whether planning permission is being or was sought for development;

- whether building approval is being or was sought;

- the likely negative impact on the environment;

- whether an environmental impact assessment was done

We, the people are awaiting the answers to these questions.

Paul Trench

Lucea, Hanover