Confusion surrounds the Rubis Service Station in the Villages at Coverley and its presence in that housing community without Town & Country Planning approval to operate as a gas station.
More than a year after its construction the gas station is yet to be opened and investigations by Barbados TODAY have revealed that to date developers have not yet received permission to operate in the Christ Church community. While there have been questions about how the gas station could have been built in the first place without prior approval, investigations have revealed that the Ministry of Energy has refused to grant the necessary certification to pump gas without Town & Country Planning permission.
At the centre of the stalled opening are three houses which the state agency has made clear to developers must be relocated at their expense before permission is obtained.
It was determined that the proximity of the houses to the gas station presented a possible hazardous situation. Investigations by Barbados TODAY revealed that developers had insisted that Government take responsibility for the resiting of the three houses but Town & Country Planning indicated that had to be undertaken by the persons behind the project.
In correspondence sent to developers on December 16, 2014, by the Chief Town Planner, several conditions were set out that had to be met before permission would be considered.
“The houses which fall within fifty (50) metres of the gas station, including numbers 378, 379 and 380 shall be removed to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner and the Director, Environmental Protection Department, prior to the start of operations at the gas station,” it indicated.
The Chief Town Planner also insisted that tanker traffic would be prohibited from using the Leadvale Road to access and/or egress the gas station. The Government agency also indicated to the developers that all building and engineering operations in connection with the access and egress onto and from the ABC Highway, car park and all other hardstanding areas should be carried out by developers to an approved specification to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner prior to occupation of the gas station.
Other requirements were outlined, including waste and sewage disposal, parking areas, signage, containment of surface water, petroleum storage, leak detection and fire precaution measures.
Developers were told that with respect to the resiting of the three houses, and other conditions, these were being insisted upon in the interest of public health and safety, road safety, ensuring that surface water did not overflow onto adjoining properties or on the public road and providing adequate safeguards against possible contamination of underground water resources.
When contacted by Barbados TODAY, developer and managing director of Preconco Limited, Mark Maloney, was initially reluctant to comment on the matter and said he knew nothing about Town & Country Planning’s directive to relocate lots 378, 379 and 380.
“I don’t know anything about that,” he said, while noting that they were still waiting on approval from Town & Country Planning to open the gas station. Maloney could give no indication as to a possible time frame for that opening.