It is back to court on May 9 for attorney-at-law David Comissiong, legal representatives for Government and the developers of the now stalled Hyatt Centric Project.
This morning the controversial project was hit by another legal snag, as a decision was made in the High Court to delay consideration of a crippling interim order filed by Comissiong, whose legal challenge has essentially brought the multi-million construction at Bay Street, St Michael to a screeching halt.
When the matter came up before Justice Randall Worrell in the Number 9 Supreme Court, attorneys on both sides, including Deputy Solicitor General Donna Brathwaite, who is representing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, agreed to postpone hearings on the interim order until May 9 when the substantive court case is due to be heard by Madame Justice Sonia Richards.
Comissiong made the disclosure to reporters on the steps of the courthouse after this morning’s brief court session.
It was on March 22 that Comissiong had secured an injunction immediately suspending the permission granted by Stuart in his capacity as minister responsible for Town & Country Planning for construction of the 15-storey hotel until the matter is heard by the court. Comissiong is challenging Government’s decision not to conduct an environmental impact assessment 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 The attorney had also argued that Stuart had relied on an outdated Physical Development Plan, even though Section 11(1) of the Town & Country Planning Act stipulates that the plan, which is now 14 years old, must be updated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.
However, the US$100 million hotel development is a vital peg in Government’s economic recovery programme and with each day that the project remains stalled officials say it only serves to worsen the island’s economic situation.