Sun | Jul 3, 2022

Judgment day looms as corporation moves to shut down St James businesses

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2022 | 12:07 AM

The Supreme Court is to rule on Friday whether it will grant an injunction order for a St James man to shut down his businesses – a restaurant, car rental accessories store and grocer – that are reportedly in breach of the Planning Act and Town and Country Development Order.

The injunction order is being sought by the St James Municipal Corporation against the first defendant, the Commissioner of Lands, who owns the property, and the business operator, Dain Nicholas Little, trading as Jamrave Groceries & Car Rental Accessories, the second defendant.

The order is also being sought against Jamrave Restaurant and Groceries Limited, the third defendant.

The corporation has also filed a lawsuit against the defendants seeking demolition orders for the Mount Salem road business establishments, claiming they had not sought any planning approval from the corporation. A hearing date has not yet been fixed.

In the meantime, the St James Municipal Corporation is seeking an injunction for the defendants to discontinue the unauthorised use of the buildings. A preliminary hearing was held earlier this month.

The Commissioner of Lands is the registered proprietor of the land, which is occupied by the Western Regional Health Authority and is the location of the Cornwall Regional Hospital

Approximately 30 metres of the land, which is located in front and abuts the hospital, is being used for commercial activities.

The claimant states in court documents filed by the law firm Bennett Cooper Smith that the location of the unauthorised buildings or structures and the commercial activity negatively impact and endanger pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

The second and third respondents not only occupy the sidewalk designated for pedestrians but they cause or permit chairs and tables to be placed in the bus bay and encourage patrons to park there to support their commercial activities.

Pedestrians are also forced to walk into traffic and are hindered from using the crossing.

Vehicular traffic, including ambulances and other emergency vehicles heading to and from the hospital, is also hindered by the activities, the claimant stated. It contends that the buildings are potential hazards to the public.

In February 2017, following a site inspection, a cease work notice was served on the second respondent. Several follow-up investigations up to April last year revealed that there was no compliance with the notice and the buildings were not demolished.

The claimant states it was advised that the buildings and operations on the premises may be in breach of the Public Health (Nuisance) Regulations 1995 because of unsanitary conditions and are likely to be a health hazard as there may be infestation of rats, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, and other insects.

The health nuisances and hazards are of concern to the claimant because the buildings are close to the hospital. Health issues related to the novel coronavirus are also a concern.

Jovan Johnson and Barbara Gayle