DPP finds holes in rock hard cement case
In a move reminiscent of a game of back and forth, the controversial case surrounding the construction of a concrete structure on Spring Garden Highway by the Mark Maloney-owned Rock Hard Cement company is set to be sent back to the Town and Country Planning Office for action.
Barbados TODAY understands that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Charles Leacock, who was asked to determine whether a criminal case should be brought against Rock Hard, is expected to refer the matter back to the town planner tomorrow without having taken a concrete decision.
“The matter should be back with Town Planning by tomorrow evening. They have to do certain things . . . the ball should be back in their court by tomorrow evening,” a source familiar with the situation told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, without providing details.
Rock Hard Cement is constructing the structure near the Flour Mills and within view of the highway to store
Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins issued an enforcement notice against the company on Friday, ordering it to cease construction and to demolish the structure. However, a defiant Maloney has ignored the order and is standing firm.
The DPP was not available for comment today. However, the official source said there was no doubt he was passing the case back to Town Planning, which falls under the Prime Minister’s Office.
There were reports that the Town Planning Department had also served an enforcement notice on the Barbados Port Authority (BPA), the landlord of Lots 3 and 7 currently being occupied by the cement company.
However, BPA Chief Executive Officer David Jean Marie told Barbados TODAY that up to this afternoon, no “revised” notices had been served on the statutory agency.
“We have previously been served enforcement and stop notices. We have been informed that revised enforcement and stop notices are to be issued,
but we are not yet formally served,” Jean Marie said.
Asked what action he would take if and when the Authority was formally served, the CEO replied: “We would have to respond. We would have to understand the nature of it and investigate when the notice is given and respond according to the law.”
This is not the first time that Maloney has been accused of engaging in construction work without permission from the Town and Country Planning Office, or of ignoring enforcement notices from the office.
At a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) St John constituency branch meeting last weekend, Opposition parliamentarian Kerrie Symmonds accused the businessman of refusing to comply with an order from the Chief Town Planner to remove an island at the entrance to The Villages at Coverley in Christ Church.
Symmonds said then that the order was given four years ago, and wondered why the structure had not been removed.
Maloney, the developers behind the two and three-bedroom housing project, has also come under fire for placing a petrol station in The Villages at Coverley without first obtaining planning permission.