The villagers of Applewhaites, St George, may soon breathe fresh air again as an illicit pig farm has been ordered to close down by the Chief Town Planner.
In a letter by the Chief Town Planner dated February 13, a copy of which was obtained by Barbados TODAY, notice was given to the owner of DL Prestige Farms, Gregory Forde, that he has until March 29th to remove pens which were erected between January 2016 and February 2019.
The notice said: “The Chief Town Planner hereby requires that the following steps be taken to restore the land to its condition before the development took place. What you are required to do [is to] remove the structure (pig pens), remove from the land all building materials and rubble arising from compliance with the enforcement notice, restore the land to its condition before the breach took place by leveling the ground.”
Forde has the right to appeal the enforcement notice by asking a judge to hear his application. The judge may quash the order if it can be proved that planning approval had been granted for the pig farm.
It was back in November that the residents of Applewhaites told Barbados TODAY that they believed that Forde was operating without Town and Country Planning’s approval. They wrote the Ministry of Health and Wellness informing them about the health problems that the residents have been having since the pig farm was set up.
St George North MP Gline Clarke hoped that the issue would be remedied by last December. But tempers flared last month as the pig farm still continued to pose problems for the residents of the small St George village.
Applwhaites resident Anita Yarde said that the smell was awful, with some passersby referring to the area as ‘Mount Stinkeroo’.
Yarde told Barbados TODAY: “We still getting the smell from the pig farm. It is really awful. I cannot open my house, I cannot invite anyone at me. No one wants to come down through here with the smell. I am right below the pig farm. I does feel so awful because my family does not want to come out here because you cannot open the house. Even at nights, I have to put up a towel to keep the scent out of the house.
“People have started to rename out here ‘Mount Stinkeroo’ because out here smell so stink. Sometimes when I leave home to go work after 5 a.m. I can smell it. We cannot live like this! I am asthmatic, and I have sinuses really bad. A couple of weeks ago I was on vacation. I had to go to the doctor and then get medication because the smell had my lungs actually blocked and it is really awful.
“I would like to see it closed because we cannot go on with this. At the end of the day, it means that we have to go to the doctor and then pay money for medication. Sometimes even if you go and buy over-the-counter medication it does not work.”
Another villager, Beverley Forte, told Barbados TODAY that she is hopeful that the pig farm would be closed as the enforcement order states clearly that he did not have permission.
Forte said: “We are hopefully optimistic that even if he appeals or applies for permission it will be denied because it is a health hazard to the community. People are getting sick. Up to tonight, the people up the hill were telling me that the smell up there was killing them still.”
The enforcement order stated: “This notice is issued by the Chief Town Planner in exercise of powers conferred to him by Section 23 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act Cap 240 and all other powers enabling him in that this letter hereby gives notice that the development hereunder specified appears to him have been carried out without the grant of permission or approval in accordance with the terms of the Town and Country Planning Development Order, 1972.
“It appears to the Chief Town Planner that the above development has occurred within the last four years between January 2016 and February 2019 and being after 14th April 1972, the date of coming into force of the Town and Country Planning Development Order 1972.”