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NEPA shuts down Royalton Negril

Published:Monday | November 2, 2015 | 11:00 AMChristopher Serju
Knight

Construction work on the Royalton Negril in western Jamaica has ground to a halt after the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) followed up its stop notice with a cessation order for the US$150-million development project.

The developers are in the process of developing a new resort on the site of the former Grand Lido Resort.

The order was issued because construction commenced without approval from the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA).

"When you breach the cessation order, the next action after that is criminal court," Morjorn Wallock, legal adviser to NEPA, told The Gleaner last week.

IGNORED WARNING

"When they were warned at first, they did not stop ... and so they were served with a stop notice and then a cessation order for commencing the development without the requisite environmental approvals," Peter Knight, NEPA's chief executive officer, further explained.

The Gleaner has learnt that the construction work to redevelop the property by Blue Diamond Hotel Groups began more than two weeks ago, allegedly on the okay of the local planning authority, the Hanover Parish Council.

"Information has come to us that the local planning authority may have granted them what they call 'provisional approval', which is illegal. It cannot happen because the law is very clear, if the development requires approval from the NRCA, then you can't issue building approval until either the NRCA approves it or gives you its intention that it plans to approve it," Knight told The Gleaner.