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Developer says ODPEM played role in Point project approval

Published:Friday | June 21, 2019 | 12:41 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor

Western Bureau:

Fredrik Moe of Scenic Developments Limited, the developer of the Point Housing Scheme in Hanover, is rejecting a claim by Roland Haye, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management’s (ODPEM) regional coordinator for western Jamaica, that the ODPEM is not involved in the approval process at the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), and as such, some projects are going ahead without the requisite oversight.

In an article published yesterday, Haye expressed a desire for greater involvement of the ODPEM in the building-approval process. He also expressed concern that there was seemingly no weight placed on the agency’s recommendations when comments were sought before some projects are approved by the HMC.

However, Moe said the Point project was properly approved through a process that involved the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and, by extension, the ODPEM.

“Construction projects are submitted for approval to the National Environment and Planning Agency for applications for environmental permits and licences and also to the Hanover Municipal Corporation for subdivision and building approvals,” Moe wrote in a letter rejecting Haye’s comments at Monday’s Disaster Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation, and Safety Committee meeting at the HMC.

“As part of NEPA’s approval process, ODPEM is given a full set of construction plans, which, if approved, become part of NEPA’s approval. ODPEM’s conditions are adopted by NEPA and presented to HMC as part of the approval package,” added Moe.

He said it was disingenuous of Haye to state that he was hoping that he would have seen what they had planned for the Point scheme, noting that the full development plans had been sent to NEPA and circulated to the ODPEM.

Moe said the slumping concern Haye raised with The Gleaner was not referenced in the ODPEM approvals.

“The soil test for the site, prepared by Basil Young & Associates as part of the approvals process, shows no such phenomenon on the property. Said test was part and parcel of the requirements of the National Works Agency for their approvals,” added Moe.

“We remain committed to providing the highest-quality developments to our customers,” he added.

When contacted for a response yesterday evening, ODPEM Director General Richard Thompson said he had no comment at this time.