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Environmentalists not happy with Long Mountain subdivision approval

Published:Friday | May 24, 2013 | 8:30 AM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner, Writer

News that the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) has been given permission to develop a controversial subdivision at Long Mountain in Kingston is being viewed by environmental stakeholders as a defeat for good city planning.

Though approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority last October, the HAJ was only given the go ahead this week after it posted an environmental bond valued at between $30-$40 million.

Two years ago when the development was proposed, neighbouring residents of the Pines of Karachi and Beverley Hills raised concerns about potential negative effects in relation to sewage and traffic congestion.

Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust, Diana McCaulay, says the approval will only lead to the conversion of green spaces in Kingston to concrete.

McCaulay is arguing that while the monetary bond is a good move, not all environmental damage can be fixed.

The permit also came with a reduction in the number of residential lots to be built, moving from 54 to 50 on approximately 29 acres of land.

HAJ Managing Director, Joseph Shoucair. says construction could begin in August if it gets Cabinet approval.

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