You’re wrong, Comissiong
Longstanding and well-respected architect Tony Selby has rubbished claims that vibrations from the pile driving during construction of the planned Hyatt hotel on Bay Street could seriously damage nearby historic buildings.
In correspondence to Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins, social activist David Comissiong cited potential damage to the Bethel Methodist Church, St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Paul’s Anglican Church among his reasons for objecting to the construction of the 15-storey building in the area.
Comissiong suggested that the project’s application to the Town and Country Development Planning Department should therefore be subjected to “a most rigorous and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure, inclusive of a Social Impact Assessment Study”.
But Selby told Barbados TODAY that all major buildings in Bridgetown were constructed on piles.
“I was one of the architects who worked on the Royal Bank of Canada in Broad Street about 12 to 15 years ago, and it was built on piles. I also worked on the then Julie’N building on Bridge Street and that was built on piles. You could expect that the piles in those areas were dug to a depth of 60 to 120 feet. That is not a major issue, but it depends on how the pile driving is done,” he said.
The architect said he would be surprised if piles driven in the Browne’s Beach area would crack nearby buildings.
“When I worked on the Royal Bank of Canada, no damage was done to the Parliament buildings which are next door, no damage was done to the other buildings that were in the front of the bank or aback of the bank,” he said.
Furthermore, Selby said, the sandy subsoil in the Browne’s Beach area can be a more stable product on which to build.