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Find solution to access problem of Ocho Rios bypass

Published:Saturday | June 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM

I have read a Mr Wellington's letter in the issue of the North Coast Times, Thursday, 5th instant, and appreciate his interest in civic matters as they affect Ocho Rios.

His main concern seems to be the trend whereby access to the bypass road is being taken over by illegal settlers and owners of adjacent property which is turning the development bypass road into a "track next to a slum".

When the Ocho Rios Bypass development road was constructed, by virtue, incidentally, of a sustained lobby from the St Ann Chamber of Commerce when I was president, the aim of this new road was to ease the pressure of the town centre, which had become very congested, by providing an alternative route east and west, and at the same time open up new lands to facilitate further expansion of the town. Hence the inclusion of the word 'development' in the title.

Unfortunately, the authorities have allowed that fine tract of land north of the road, on which proper infrastructural development could take place, be taken over by illegal settlers, and it has now become, as a result, unattractive to prospective developers.

Currently, there are legitimate persons whose plans for the development of their property, on which taxes are being paid and for which plans are already in place, are being stymied by their inability to gain access to the development bypass road.

Jobs are consequently being denied, and government coffers cannot access much-needed funds that would accrue from this development. This is irrational thinking.

I urge the powers that be (Ministry of Transport and Works and Urban Development Corporation) to act with urgency in finding a solution to the problem of access to the bypass development road. It is not fair that persons who are eager to develop their holdings are being denied from doing so.

JOHN E. McDOWELL,

BDS (Edin), OD, JP

jedisonmc@gmail.comOcho Rios, St Ann