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Negril chamber demands probe into alleged sand mining for hotel development

Published:Wednesday | January 13, 2016 | 7:18 PM
This file photo shows parts of Negril's seven-mile beach that have been eroded.

The Negril Chamber of Commerce has expressed outrage at what it says appears to be shady sand mining activities connected to major hotel developments in Negril and elsewhere on the North Coast.

In a release this afternoon, the Chamber called for the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Commissioner of Mines and the Jamaica Constabulary Force to explain in full the sand mining operations and to investigate the developments.  

“It was brought to our attention by multiple persons that sand is being mined in the Negril area and moved by several trucks in the dead of night to a major hotel development in recent days. We are further told that the sand is stockpiled at the development in question for movement to another property on the north coast,” a spokesperson for Chamber said today.

The Chambers said it was alarmed about sand being mined in Negril which is already suffering from beach erosion. 

The chamber is also upset that this site has been granted approval to build 90 feet from the high tide mark, when the norm is 150 feet. 

The new development orders passed for Negril kept this standard, with the loophole that under special circumstances this can be changed.

These special circumstances have yet to be defined by NEPA. 

The chamber has already voiced its concern on this matter to NEPA, stating that it is not in keeping with sustainable development and rising sea levels due to climate change.