Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has given the strongest indication yet that he is close to a decision on the controversial Hyatt hotel project.
The Barbadian leader Wednesday told journalists he had most of the information needed for a decision on building permission for the 237-room Hyatt Centric on almost three acres of waterfront along Browne’s Beach, Carlisle Bay, The City.
The proposed 15-storey property has met with opposition from the Barbados National Trust and social activist David Comissiong on the grounds that the designated building site is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
“I sit in a type of quasi-judicial position in relation to the Hyatt; I am the last platform of appeal and I wouldn’t want to say anything about that given the very peculiar role that I have to perform in relation to town planning applications generally as the ultimate appellant role. All I am prepared to say is that it is receiving attention and the appropriate importance is being attached to it,” Stuart said following a visit to St Bartholomew Primary School on Wednesday without revealing a deadline by which his decision would be made.
“I recently visited the site project as proposed and made certain assessments. As a result of that visit certain requests for additional information were made and as I understand it those requests have been complied with within the deadlines set and therefore I am just awaiting the outcome of the assessment of those bits of information, so that I can make a final decision.”
Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins has made it clear on different occasions that the final decision on the multi-million dollar project was out of his hands and rested on Stuart, who has responsibility for Town & Country Planning.
Even as the Prime Minister ponders, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy appears to have little doubt what the decision will be.
In fact, Sealy told a political meeting of his ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in St Michael East on Sunday evening the decision on the hotel was at “an advanced stage right now of receiving the final go ahead” from the Prime Minister.
A few days earlier, at World Travel Market in London, Sealy had told Barbados TODAY the permit was “being processed in order for them to start work”.