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Count me out

Cummins won’t discuss out-of-court settlement with Maloney

Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins said today to count him out of any proposal by businessman Mark Maloney to broker an out-of-court settlement over a controversial structure erected at his Rock Hard Cement facility at Lots 3 and 7, Flour Mill Site, Spring Garden, St Michael.

The Town & Country Planning Department has taken the company to court, accusing it of breaching a stop notice instructing that no further development occurs at the site.

The Maloney-owned company is also accused of carrying out, causing or giving permission for construction work and operations to be carried out on the properties while they were the occupiers, thereby contravening Section 40 B (1) of the Town & Country Planning Act, Chapter 240.

A court recently granted the company a stay, blocking any further sanction against it until its own appeal is heard in the High Court later this year.

“We would like it to be settled outside of court. That is always the intention. We don’t like battling in the media. Sometimes things get sensationalized, sometimes the media is to blame for doing that, not intentionally, and that’s their job; sometimes it hurts people like us but we have to work through it and we are doing so in the interest of everybody and hope that the outcome [is] everyone would benefit, not just one party,” Maloney said following last month’s signing of an agreement to construct a Hyatt hotel on Bay Street, St Michael.

But when asked today if he would agree to an out-out-court settlement, the Town Planner said such a deal was out of his hands.

“Not me. It’s not me to agree. He would have to deal with the Solicitor General. It’s the Solicitor General to agree, not me,” Cummins told Barbados TODAY this afternoon while giving an update on the case.

The parties to the case were back in court again today, but hearing was adjourned until September 12. Cummins said that between now and the court date his office has to file additional papers before the proceedings could move further along.

Maloney has said he was hoping for an amicable resolution to the row. “I think it’s everyone’s intention. It was never anyone’s intention to be in court from the beginning. But things happen and decisions were made and we work towards that,” he said at the signing ceremony.  Maloney’s company was served with an enforcement notice to take down the concrete structure being erected to store cement at Spring Garden, St Michael, but the developer was refusing to budge.

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