Residents of Rockley, Christ Church, have nothing to fear regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Blue Horizon Hotel.
That assurance has come from the project’s developers Blue Tourism Inc, who have assured them that when completed, the 10-storey US$50 million hotel will not only brighten up a “tired” looking south coast, but will also provide much needed foreign exchange and jobs.
The developers made the announcements during a press briefing this morning, where they sought to clear the air regarding several concerns which had been raised by residents.
Among them was a fear that the redevelopment would tamper with the beach. The residents had petitioned the Town Planning Department to have the project stalled, but Managing Director of Blue Tourism Inc Phillip Tempro told members of the media that residents need not worry.
“We just felt that there was information out there that seemed to be not correct and it is our duty that you have the opportunity to put it out there correctly,” he said.
Along with maintaining that access to and view of the beach would not be blocked. Tempro said the issues of dust control and dust management during construction had been mitigated.
He said dust screens would be used around the entire construction site and would also be raised as work on the hotel progressed.
Tempro said they had also been involved in the construction of Sandals and had received no complaints.
“The method of building that we are using is not a dusty method. We built 50 rooms for Sandals, ten feet from occupied rooms this year and did not have one complaint,” he pointed out.
He said that almost half of the rooms in the current Blue Horizon Hotel were dilapidated and being used by “vagrants and parros”.
In fact, along with sprucing up the popular south coast tourist belt, Tempro said hundreds of jobs would become available.
“In terms of work, we estimate there will be around 350 jobs in construction and the project will take 18 months to build. It will generate a significant number of services after that, so we will estimate that we will probably have in the range of 300 employees for the hotel itself after, plus all the various maintenance that goes on and the ancillary businesses that go on,” Tempro explained.
“The general economic position of this job is that it is going to bring somewhere around US$10 million in GDP [Gross Domestic Product] a year.”
He said while the construction plans had met all of the Town Planning Department’s requirements, they were still awaiting planning permission.
According to him the plan is to have the project started next month.
Additionally, he said they would be providing public bathroom facilities for those persons using the beach.
A townhall meeting is scheduled to be held next Thursday, July 18, at the Accra Beach Resort, where the developers will update residents on the most recent plans.