Political activist David Comissiong is seeking to strike another blow at the heart of the controversial Hyatt Centric Resort scheduled to be built on Lower Bay, The City.
The attorney-at-law, who has already secured an injunction putting the brakes on the US$100 project, will Tuesday file an interim order suspending permission to build until the court can hear the substantive matter in a hearing scheduled for May.
“I have applied for an interim order suspending the permission to build until the court can hear the substantive matter in May or whenever after May. This will just be a formality because if I have challenged the permission, the Town and Country Planning Act says that the court should temporarily suspend the permission until the court can have a full hearing of the matter. The interim order would stop the developers from doing anything right now, but if they started anything it would stop them from doing anything until the court can hear the case in its totality,” he told Barbados TODAY.
On March 22, Comissiong lodged the legal challenge in the Supreme Court to the construction, which, after several delays had won approval on February 15 from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who has responsibility for Town and Country Planning.
That injunction, which resulted in immediate suspension of permission until the matter is heard by the court, came as a major blow for both the developers and Government, who have been eager to get the project going, amid domestic economic challenges.
Speaking to reporters immediately after filing the claim, Comissiong was adamant that the Prime Minister had acted incorrectly on the matter.
He had based his claim on 12 grounds, including the failure of Government to have public consultations or to carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the multi-million dollar beachfront development.
The attorney had also argued that Stuart had relied on an outdated Physical Development Plan, even though Section 11(1) of the Town & Country Planning Act stipulates that the plan, which is now 14 years old, must be updated every five years.
He also took issue with the 15-storey elevation, pointing out that the maximum height allowed for beachfront hotels was five storeys, compared to the seven storeys for non-beachfront tourist accommodation.
Comissiong further noted that over the years applications for developments above the stipulated elevation were consistently turned down on the grounds that “such structures would negatively affect the visual amenity of the locale”.