The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) says it is hoping that the Mia Mottley administration will do its due diligence before pressing ahead with the Bridgetown Transformation project.
In addition, President of the association Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Browne is recommending that a long-term maintenance plan be put in place.
The caution comes as Government inches closer to demolishing the old NIS building to make way for new development in the Fairchild Street area, which will form part a Bridgetown-wide transformation.
While the association body will not be involved directly in any planning of the Bridgetown transformation exercise, several of its members are expected to be a part of some aspects of the activity.
Last Friday Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced in a televised address dubbed “a conversation with the nation” that Government would be transforming Bridgetown as part of a seven-year plan.
Pointing out that there was need to “take down and build back,” Mottley indicated that the old NIS building on Fairchild Street and the nearby Fire Station on Probyn Street would be dismantled.
This, she said, was in an effort to rebuild a fresh market, restore the Golden Square Circle and create a green space.
In a brief interview with Barbados TODAY, Browne said the BAPE was concerned that the level of planning that had gone into the decisions so far were too little.
He said they were also hoping that Government would take a careful look at the long-term aspects of its plan.
“From BAPE’s point of view, we have concerns about the planning processes,” said Browne, adding that such a development would require specialist skills.
“We are concerned that enough analysis has not been going into the decisions that we have been taking and especially a long-term analysis that looks at costs and benefits of these things,” he added.
Since the announced changes to the Probyn Street and Golden Square areas Government has reportedly received several letters with recommendations and proposals.
And while Government is yet to give details of its rejuvenation plans for The City Barbadians have been split over whether the old NIS building should be demolished or converted.
Some members of BAPE have been invited to take part in the radio programme Down to Brass Tacks this Sunday to share their thoughts on the developments.
Chartered Structural Engineer Grenville Phillips II told Barbados TODAY “development is good once done properly”.
“This means it is planned sensibly and any structurally-sound buildings to be demolished should be replaced with something better, including a property with a higher economic value. For example, demolishing the old Hilton and then constructing a new one with greater capacity or demolishing the Liquidation Centre and building a hotel,” explained Phillips.
He also recommended that “any new building must be resilient to natural hazards and be very low maintenance”.
Light work started on the inside of the old NIS building earlier this week and officials are currently in the process of meeting with those who will be directly impacted by the development including vendors.
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