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Plan activated to tackle squatting in Hopewell, Hanover

Published:Friday | January 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

As stakeholders in the Hopewell community in Hanover get more agitated about the squatting problem developing on the main road in that town, a move has started in the Hanover Municipal Corporation, to curtail the problem.

The Hanover Health Department has been asked to check on what the squatters have in place as sanitary conveniences, as it is believed that they were disposing of their waste in the nearby sea.

Councillor for the Chester Castle division, Fearon Decarish, posed the question to the Chief Public Health Inspector for the parish, Patricia Hall-Patterson, at the meeting of the corporation, held in Lucea, on Thursday.

The concerns raised by Decarish echo those of residents in the Hopewell community, that several shops constructed along the roadway were not only illegal but posed a health risk to the whole community.

"There are a number of residents from this community that uses the beach for recreation and health purposes, and those persons are getting overly worried about the bacteria levels in the water," one community member told The Gleaner. He said that at the next citizens association meeting he would move a motion for the National Resources Conservation Authority to be contacted about the matter.

Mayor of Lucea and chairman of the municipal corporation Sheridan Samuels had promised in December that he would be taking action on the situation this year.


Residents not hopeful


The residents of Hopewell, however, are not convinced that any action will be taken, as they claim that the municipal corporation should not have allowed the matter to drag on until so many shacks have been constructed. They also claim that no stop order has been issued during all the construction taking place along the strip.

"They (the municipal corporation) were notified in 2015 when the first two shacks were constructed and they did nothing. Now it is nine shacks with one recently constructed," president of the Hopewell Citizens Association, Derrick Wright stated.

One resident of the area said that the reason for the delay could be because persons connected in the municipal corporation had interest in one of the businesses being run by the squatters along the roadway.