The acquisition of five parcels of land at Sturges and Welchman Hall, St Thomas is expected to enhance the development of Harrison’s Cave in that central parish.
Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, gave the House of Assembly this assurance today while moving the passage of a resolution for the compulsory acquisition by Government.
The St Lucy MP said policymakers were of the view that redevelopment should not begin at Harrison’s Cave itself, but in community areas immediately surrounding the attraction.
Kellman was also of the view that persons living in the area should benefit from the development.
“What we have seen over the years is Government spending $200 million on this tourism product. As we travel the world we have noticed that attractions were not ‘stand alones’ but part of a bigger development,” he said.
“I have always argued, as far back as the 1990s, that Harrison’s Cave should not be an asset that visitors should be allowed to drive directly to. The Cave should have been built out from the Post Office and have vending along
“In this way people who live in area would become beneficiaries,” he stressed, while claiming that $84 million was spent by the Barbados Labour Party government on an elevator and a parking lot.
“There is no doubt that Barbados needs this asset. . . . We have to recognise that as a small country we have to maximise and build out our attractions. It is not only Harrison’s Cave. For many years we have been in charge of the National Park in Barbados and it is going to be very important how we treat to the National Park,” the Minister of Housing said.
“That is why I will continue to say that the Rural Development Commission of this ministry cannot only be seen as an agency set up to build houses for people, repair houses and build roads,” he said, “there is a developmental role for the RDC,” he added.
Turning his attention to the City, Kellman said: “We also have to look at urban renewal. We are having a very proactive approach to solving some of the problems in housing in the City for the next few years.
“Instead of dealing with the people while they are resident in the City, it is better to move out the people and then deal with the problem,” he said.
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