The much-anticipated hearing in the case brought against the controversial Rock Hard Cement Limited of embattled businessman Mark Maloney by Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins failed to get going before District ‘A’ Magistrate Douglas Frederick this morning.
Furthermore, the reason for the aborted start had Magistrate Frederick so unhappy that he made his feelings known in very strong terms.
The presiding judicial officer said the marshal of the court had failed to carry out his duties to serve Rock Hard Cement through its chairman Maloney with the summons requiring him to attend court today.
So when the case, Mark Cummins [Chief Town Planner] versus Rock Hard Cement was called, neither Maloney, nor his lawyer or any representative of the company was present to answer the charge of breaching a stop order issued by the Town Planner.
On checking the documents before him, Frederick discovered that the marshal – who was also absent – had not submitted any affidavit, either showing a return date, or that the accused had been served or could not be found.
In the absence of such information, the judicial officer told the court he did not know if Rock Hard had been served and therefore, he would adjourn the case until June 24.
The Chief Town Planner also failed to turn up, however he was represented by a senior department official George Browne and legal counsel Alvin Thomas.
Cummins filed criminal charges in the District ‘A’ Criminal Court last Wednesday, accusing Rock Hard Cement of failing to comply with a stop notice to cease and desist from continuing any further operations on the site of the Flour Mill, off Spring Garden Highway, and to demolish a concrete structure erected to store the cement material.
The company’s landlord, Barbados Port Inc, had also been issued with two stop notices and enforcement notices dated June 7, 2016 because, according to a letter from the Port’s attorney Lystra A. Kodilinye and addressed to Maloney, “serious concerns have arisen with regard to activities carried out on Lot 3 and Lot 7”.
In that letter to Maloney, a copy of which has been obtained by Barbados TODAY, the Port attorney informed the controversial businessman that the Enforcement Notices stated that without planning permission, it had erected a structure on the land belonging to the Port and had also unlawfully carried out operations such as berthing, bulk handling and storage of cement and loading of trucks on the same land.
“The port has never been written to by RHCL [Rock Hard Cement Ltd] requesting prior consent to any proposed construction nor has the Port been shown approved planning and other agencies’ approval in order to commence construction work,” Kodilinye told Maloney in writing.
It added that the procedures outlined in both leases relating to prior planning and other agencies’ approval and prior consent before commencement of construction were never followed.
“Rock Hard Cement Ltd is therefore in breach of Clause 4 (g) of both leases relating to Lot 3 and Lot 7,” the Port said through it legal counsel.
Up to this afternoon, the structure remained standing, with piles of bagged cement within its confines.