Comissiong threatens legal action against Hyatt project
Attorney at law and social activist David Comissiong has threatened legal action against the construction of the proposed Hyatt Hotel at Carlisle Bay, if the project is not subjected to a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment.
Comissiong has made clear his opposition to the project, which was announced last month, saying it will have implications for the environmental well-being of the city of Bridgetown and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In a statement issued on the weekend, he noted that during his presentation on the budget debate, International Business Minister Donville Inniss claimed that the Chief Town Planner had already dealt with, and approved with conditions, construction of the controversial hotel.
“Mr Inniss also claimed that an “Environmental Impact Assessment”, a heritage impact assessment, a traffic study, a geotechnical survey, a marine survey and a geophysical survey were all carried out, as part of the processing of the said application,” Comissiong stated.
However he contended that to the best of his knowledge, the people of Barbados were never given public notice of and invited to participate in any EIA pertaining to the proposed 15-storey structure.
“A legitimate “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA) CANNOT be carried out in secret – unknown to the Barbadian public– and without the participation and input of the people of Barbados, particularly the participation and input of the people who reside in the communities closest to and most affected by the proposed hotel!”
Comissiong also highlighted implications for Bridgetown and the environment if this project goes ahead.
“The people of Barbados in general, and the people and organizations of the Bridgetown and Bay Street communities in particular, must therefore be fully informed about the proposed project, and must be afforded an opportunity to participate fully in an Assessment of its likely or potential impacts on such issues as Barbadians’ continued access to and enjoyment of the beach; implications for the animal, plant and marine life of the beach; Bridgetown’s designation as a UNESCO world heritage site; issues pertaining to sewage disposal, possible damage to neighbouring buildings, and urban congestion; and its implications for the overall environmental well-being of the City of Bridgetown,” he said.
He stated that given the concerns outlined, he has put Minister Inniss and developer Mark Maloney on notice that any effort to commence the project without “a rigorous and comprehensive legitimate Environmental Impact Assessment” will be met with a challenge in the Law Courts of Barbados.