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Architects object to permission for Grand Lido Hotel site redevelopment

Published:Monday | April 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Institute of Architects is objecting to an approval granted by the Government for the re-development of the site of the Grand Lido Hotel in Negril, Westmoreland.

President of the Institute, Ann Hodges, wrote to Environment Minister, Robert Pickersgill, on April 5 outlining four concerns the body has with the proposed development.

It is understood that permission has been granted for the demolition of the Grand Lido Hotel, and for its replacement with a 600 to 800 room hotel.

According to the Institute, the proposed hotel design includes four storey blocks, and allows a setback from the high water mark and the possible construction of rooms over water at what’s known as the Rutland Point.

However, the Institute of Architects says such a development will establish a precedence that goes against the spirit of the Negril Area's unique, Small and Medium sized enterprise model of tourism development.

And it argues that safeguards put in place in the 1984 Negril, Green Island Development Order which calls for the "delicate balance of the environment” will be violated.

The institute adds that the development will set a precedent for increased heights and densities along the coast and exacerbate issues of public versus hotel access to the foreshore.

The Institute says there could also be increased beach erosion and the further elimination of the protective coastal vegetative buffer.

In 2012, Minister Robert Pickersgill declared that continuous erosion of sand from beaches in Negril is threatening the economic life of the tourist town and blamed human encroachment activities as the main contributor to the problem.

*CORRECTION: Earlier, this article had referenced the Jamaica Institute of Engineers. That was incorrect. It should have been the Jamaica Institute of Architects.