Prominent developer Mark Maloney found himself in Opposition Leader Mia Mottley’s crosshairs as she led off debate in the House of Assembly on a no-confidence motion in the Freundel Stuart administration.
Mottley questioned whether a number of projects undertaken by the developer had been approved by the Town & Country Planning Development Office (TCPDO) before they were actually allowed to get off the ground.
She identified the entrance to the Villages at Coverley off the ABC Highway and the construction of the gas station in the development; Rock Hard Cement operations at the old Flour Mill site; the constructionof the Valery housing units in Brittons Hill; and the Bushy Park redevelopment.
In the case of the latter project in St Philip, Mottley raised questions about a fence and ticket booth being constructed on the old railway track and the construction of the first of five planned clusters of luxury car suites.
She also asked why the gas station in the Villages of Coverley was continuing operations, in defiance of TCPDO’s instructions for the removal of houses within 50 metres of the service station.
Earlier in the debate, the Opposition Leader also levelled claims that the National Cultural Foundation had leased the old Empire Theatre to the Maloney Group Inc., even though the TCPDO had refused its 2013 application for a theatre and craft brewery as a result of the company’s failure to submit an environmental scoping study. That, she said, was after the BEAT Foundation had obtained approval from the Office of the Prime Minister for the restoration of the theatre last year, following an application submitted in 2012.
“I have to ask myself, ‘who is running Barbados?’.
“How do we get into the business of creating another profit centre for the same group of individuals? How does this Government explain a lease given to the Maloney Group Inc.; Town Planning approval refused; and the poor BEAT Foundation can’t get a lease, a sub-lease, a piece of lease . . . but they have Town Planning permission because, I believe, their proposal finds favour with those sensitive to heritage development.”
Mottley also directed her attention to Hard Rock Cement, claiming that it had not received approval for construction at its current site.
“It is bad enough that they were the beneficiary of an opportunity to run a cement plant on valuable port lands. When was that put out to a request for proposal? When did the port either do, or require of them, an environmental impact assessment?” Mottley asked.
“All I want to know is when Town Planning will issue an enforcement notice.”
The Opposition Leader said that apart from the issues surrounding the plant itself, she had learned that officers at the neighbouring Coast Guard headquarters were being affected by its operations.
She claimed that the Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force had written to Government indicating that there has been an unusual number of Coast Guard members developing upper respiratory tract infections.