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Fuel stop

Authorities concerned about proximity of gas station to Coverley homes

Confusion surrounds the Rubis Service Station in the Villages at Coverley and its presence in that housing community without Town & Country Planning approval to operate as a gas station.


More than a year after its construction the gas station at Coverley is yet to be opened.

More than a year after its construction the gas station is yet to be opened and investigations by Barbados TODAY have revealed that to date developers have not yet received permission to operate in the Christ Church community. While there have been questions about how the gas station could have been built in the first place without prior approval, investigations have revealed that the Ministry of Energy has refused to grant the necessary certification to pump gas without Town & Country Planning permission.

At the centre of the stalled opening are three houses which the state agency has made clear to developers must be relocated at their expense before permission is obtained.

It was determined that the proximity of the houses to the gas station presented a possible hazardous situation. Investigations by Barbados TODAY revealed that developers had insisted that Government take responsibility for the resiting of the three houses but Town & Country Planning indicated that had to be undertaken by the persons behind the project.

In correspondence sent to developers on December 16, 2014, by the Chief Town Planner, several conditions were set out that had to be met before permission would be considered.

“The houses which fall within fifty (50) metres of the gas station, including numbers 378, 379 and 380 shall be removed to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner and the Director, Environmental Protection Department, prior to the start of operations at the gas station,” it indicated.

The Chief Town Planner also insisted that tanker traffic would be prohibited from using the Leadvale Road to access and/or egress the gas station. The Government agency also indicated to the developers that all building and engineering operations in connection with the access and egress onto and from the ABC Highway, car park and all other hardstanding areas should be carried out by developers to an approved specification to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner prior to occupation of the gas station.

Other requirements were outlined, including waste and sewage disposal, parking areas, signage, containment of surface water, petroleum storage, leak detection and fire precaution measures.

Developers were told that with respect to the resiting of the three houses, and other conditions, these were being insisted upon in the interest of public health and safety, road safety, ensuring that surface water did not overflow onto adjoining properties or on the public road and providing adequate safeguards against possible contamination of underground water resources.

When contacted by Barbados TODAY, developer and managing director of Preconco Limited, Mark Maloney, was initially reluctant to comment on the matter and said he knew nothing about Town & Country Planning’s directive to relocate lots 378, 379 and 380.

“I don’t know anything about that,” he said, while noting that they were still waiting on approval from Town & Country Planning to open the gas station. Maloney could give no indication as to a possible time frame for that opening.

10 Responses to Fuel stop

  1. Rosanna Lewis
    Rosanna Lewis January 16, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Why they don’t move the apartments next to shell gas station in Bay street. That you filling up with gas and the people shaking at yah and a mere fence is what separating the two. Town and Country planning does know who to play ass with. Move they yacht club too cause that is less than 50 feet

  2. Debra Dior
    Debra Dior January 16, 2015 at 7:28 am

    I understand the health and safety reasons here, however, there are sooo many other Gas Stations around the island which operate withinn very close proximity to homes. E.g the one at the bottom of Oistins Hill, Kendal Hill, Wildey, Bay Street… just to name a few and they are all directly next to or across from residential areas.

  3. Sangria Tam January 16, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Only in Barbados can certain people of a certain colouring get away with building a whole gas station without obtaining requisite approval. Will they be sanctioned? Of course not. Furthermore they expect the government (with our money) to fund the removal of the three houses, that, had they received permission before constructing the gas station, would never had been there in the first place. Go figure!

  4. Debra Dior
    Debra Dior January 16, 2015 at 10:01 am

    You could be right there Frank

  5. jr smith January 16, 2015 at 10:55 am

    yes certain people in Barbados, do what they like. If a local bajan add or build a structure ,without planning permission, you would see the bull dozers out to remove what ever was built.
    Bull doze the site its illegal, who the hell runs Barbados. Its always them and us.

  6. Carl Harper January 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    The petrol station and businesses at Coverley are poorly sited deep inside the heart of the community, especially in little Barbados where everything is just a “skip, hop and jump away.”

    They should have been located along the ABC Highway at the entrance to Coverley where non-residents would not have to enter into the neighborhood. The businesses would also capture impulse shoppers off the Highway, and would have been able to “advertise” themselves by their visual presence.

    This housing concept at Coverley obtains in Florida in massive developments that are very far away from established towns and cities. The idea is to bring as many businesses and services in to support the community.

    It is difficult to see how that petrol station could be profitable from only the 1,100 households at Coverley, when there is are gas stations one mile east, half mile south and two miles to the west. It must rely on patronage from external customers. Along the Highway would have been more advantageous. Furthermore, people who live there are under no obligation to fill-up at that station. They can do it elsewhere.

    What is even more bothersome is how a petrol station could be constructed without planning permission in full view of everyone, and a stop order was not imposed. In some other areas bulldozers would have been mobilized with police watching to demolish the structure long ago.

    Now there is resistance from the developer to resite the three houses before obtaining permission for the station to commence operations. This is after obtaining the land at a bargain basement giveaway price.

    Of course, politicians such as Donville Inniss would criticize Town Planning for holding up investment projects in Barbados when this is the kind of disrespect that exists for the department.

  7. Donna Harewood January 16, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    This one should be filed under the heading “Strange but True”. I

  8. Mac10 January 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    So thy are worried about the close proximity to the houses.


    Funny how the health & safety bods aren’t concerned with all the other stations in close proximity to households & more importantly , the gas pump attendants breathing in gas fumes all day long.

    When the health & safety bods start doing something about that, then talk to me about close proximity.

  9. Maxine Hutchinson January 16, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Worst of all, will be the fumes from the gas that will seep into the homes and bodies of the residents and manifest itself in all forms of health challenges.

    If they are somewhat like the writer of this reply, eventually, it will combine with the smell of the heated asphalt on the road surface and then go to work each day in an air-conditioned building. Such will cause those inhabitants to suffer with respiratory problems.

    Remember, one in every five children are shown to have been born with respiratory challenges. Some may be found in that village near the gas station.

  10. Carl Harper January 17, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Remember it was the same developer that announced a start date to the redevelopment at Bushy Park racing circuit without first having submitted an application to Town Planning.


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