Coverley residents want a level playing field in place when their new neighbours from Ross University move into the development. They are also demanding that their needs are looked after and old promises kept by the management of the residential area.
Speaking amid increased construction activity at The Villages at Coverley the residents want more clarity from management about any possible fallout when hundreds of Ross University students start to populate the community in a few months. Contractors are working to get ready a large number of houses earmarked for the students of the offshore university which is relocating from Dominica.
Some residents are concerned that the students would be given preferential treatment.
When Barbados Today visited the Christ Church development, one resident said there was a suggestion that current residents would be forced to give up some of their amenities even though property maintenance fees continue to increase.
In the absence of more information from management, he fears the changes may be part of new policies to be implemented when the students arrive.
“There’s contention now with the monthly fees. There were certain things we signed onto like the recreation center, things that we would’ve heard that were covered by the monthly fee. It seems like now that Ross coming, it’s like… certain things going. So even though I don’t have a problem with Ross coming, it looks like they’re getting preferential treatment at the same time,” the resident said. He believes that if certain amenities are to be abolished, the monthly fee should be scrapped.
According to another resident, many of the promises made within the rent-to-own contracts have not yet come to fruition, raising angst about whether these would be fulfilled with the pending increased occupancy.
“The students will obviously want to roam all about the place, so they’re going to build a park for them. When we came here we were told yes, you’re going to get this and you’re going to get that and it never materialized. So the promises that we had here first, when I came in here seven years ago, we ‘ain’t’ get, but all of a sudden, Ross will be able to get what they want. Whatever you promised the initial residents, it should be maintained,” he said.
In August this year, Prime Minister Mia Mottley revealed Ross University would bring some 100 million dollars into the country’s struggling economy, indicating the 400 partially constructed houses at Coverley would be used as accommodation for many of the students.
When Barbados Today visited the Christ Church community Monday afternoon, scores of construction workers were laboring on the expansion project.
The concerns raised about the property maintenance fee were raised by another resident, a middle-aged woman who is delighted about the prospect of young students coming into the community.
She hopes with the changes taking place in favor of Ross students, “that management would also look at some of the other issues that residents, who are official and legal owners of their homes, do currently have and that we can have a little more peaceful enjoyment of our properties.”
Another resident, Amanda Cummins who has been renting a property in the villages for the past two years says she has mixed feelings about the new residents.
“Ultimately I think it’s going to be a good thing. We’re accustomed to it being fairly quiet but of course that’s not necessarily a good thing because then businesses can’t thrive. My only concern is when there’s a whole lot more people, are they prepared for the influx of people? I hope they have good management systems put in place to deal with the increased numbers.”
When the Barbados Today team approached management for further clarity on the project, we were told neither Chief Executive Officer Anna Clarke nor Assets Manager, Catherine Perkins was available for comment.
Developer Mark Maloney told the team, he didn’t have a comment on the concerns raised.