Hyatt case adjourned again

The legal heavyweight fight over the US$100 million Hyatt Centric Resort is set to continue next Wednesday after today’s hearing was adjourned.

In a hearing that was initially scheduled for early May, but was first adjourned until July 7 because the assigned judge was on holiday, lawyers representing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Hyatt developers, the Mark Maloney-led Vision Development Inc, spent three hours today trying to convince Justice Sonia Richards at the Number 9 Supreme Court that attorney-at-law David Comissiong had no legal standing to attempt to stop construction of the hotel.

The legal heavy hitters, including Barry Gale, QC, who represents Visions Development Inc, and Hal Gollop, QC, representing Stuart, began their oral submissions around 11 a.m. and concluded at 2:30 p.m. when the hearing was adjourned.

Attorneys David Comissiong (left) and and Bobby Clarke (right) leaving the Supreme Court today.

Comissiong has requested a judicial review of the permission granted by the Prime Minister, in his capacity as Minister responsible for Town & Country Planning, to grant Maloney permission to build the 15-storey hotel.

It is that application by Comissiong that Stuart is challenging, with Maloney also made a party to the case.

“Mr Stuart’s lawyer, Hal Gallop, QC, addressed the court today on that application . . . . Mr Gale began submissions but has not concluded his address to the court in relation to this matter. So the matter has been adjourned until Wednesday of next week at 10:30 a.m., when presumably Mr Gale would conclude his address, at which time I will address the court,” Comissiong told the waiting media.

Describing today’s arguments as a “tag team” partnership between Government and the developers, Comissiong said both Gollop and Gale had maintained that the outspoken social activist did not have the legal standing to challenge the Prime Minister’s decision.

“It is a tag team between Mr Gale and Mr Gollop. They are both supporting each other, Mr Stuart as the minister and the developer are supporting each other in their challenge to my standing,” said Comissiong, who was quick to point out that he was not daunted by the reputations of the opposing lawyers because the facts were on his side.

“What is important are the facts of this case and the law. So it doesn’t matter how many lawyers they array against the claimant, who in this case is myself supported by Bobby Clarke. We will be dealing with facts and the law. So let’s leave it at that because we will have a decision from the judge in due course, but I expect this case to go on and we will be ultimately looking at the merits of the claims I have brought for judicial review,” he stressed.

Back in March the political activist secured an injunction immediately suspending the permission granted by Stuart in his capacity as Minister responsible for Town & Country Planning for construction of the 15-storey hotel until the court hears the matter.

At the core of the matter is his challenge of Government’s decision not to conduct an environmental impact assessment on the multi-million dollar beachfront development.

The attorney had also argued that Stuart had relied on an outdated Physical Development Plan, even though Section 11(1) of the Town & Country Planning Act stipulates that the plan, which is now 14 years old, must be updated every five years. He also took issue with the 15-storey elevation, pointing out that the maximum height allowed for beachfront hotels was five storeys, compared to seven storeys for non-beachfront tourist accommodation.

However, the US$100 million hotel development is a vital peg in Government’s economic recovery programme, and with each day that the project remains stalled officials say it only serves to worsen the island’s economic situation. 

17 Responses to Hyatt case adjourned again

  1. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn August 11, 2017 at 2:47 am

    When ever done I think that Mr comissiong is wasting his time . Government already give the okay to build Hayatt.

    Reply
    • Santini More
      Santini More August 11, 2017 at 6:11 am

      Thankfully Government is NOT above the law. So if the Govt overstepped its authority, then the law is there to inform the Govt of its misstep.

      Reply
    • Michael Crichlow
      Michael Crichlow August 11, 2017 at 7:39 am

      The ruling Elite runs every Country ,Government is just the mouthpiece and should know it’s parameters and perimeters rule 101 folks don’t be fool by such public banter

      Reply
    • Rick August 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Whether Comissiong and clark wins the case against the stuart and the hotel reps, at least i believe he is trying to do the right thing…how can you give peemission to build a 15 story structure (pretry much on the beach) without an environmental study…..some sweet dealing going on there. I am not an engineer but common sense tells me that environment study should be done. Why is the view to the ocean going to be obstructed by a 15 story structure, as if there are not enough derelicted buildings already destroying the beauty of the ocean.

      Foreign investment is important but when it fails to benefit the local citizens, it serves no purpose. One of the reasons crime in bim is so bad is that the government has been so focused on foreign reserves that it has neglected the basic issues facing the average Barbadian…jobs, over importation of food that should be grown locally; allowing un-inspected cargo into the country; etc…
      Bim use to be the gem of the Caribbean, but is rapidly losing it’s
      Luster.

      Reply
  2. Maaz A Love
    Maaz A Love August 11, 2017 at 7:06 am

    All the best Mr Comissiong and team. Power to the people! Save browne’s beach.

    Reply
  3. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow August 11, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Big boys playpen ..Da courts of public opinion is just self gratification for the readers

    Reply
  4. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 11, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Respect Mr Comissiong fight but he up against Mark Maloney and the government so nothing gine change the deck stack against him and by extension people of Barbados the fix already in.

    Reply
  5. Sue Donym August 11, 2017 at 7:40 am

    The grounds for objection seem perfectly sound to me, so not at all sure what special standing would be needed for citizens to raise legitimate concerns. We must not let economic or financial desperation compromise us. If there are compelling or unusual circumstances that merit variance, let us know, otherwise let’s operate within our own standards.

    Reply
  6. Carson C Cadogan August 11, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Mr Comissiong is wasting everybody’s time. And when he looses he must be made to pay full Court costs.

    Reply
    • hcalndre August 11, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      And if he wins, is the law in Barbados for the politicians and their friends? it looks as though these are the only people that the courts and jail were not made for, only in Barbados.

      Reply
  7. roger headley August 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    loses Carson NOT looses – you loose something that is tied or being held in some way.

    Loose and lose are two completely distinct words, with different meanings and pronunciations

    Reply
  8. Saga Boy August 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    I am sure if it was Mia Mottley in gov this would not be an issue.

    Reply
  9. Saga Boy August 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    I am sure if it was Mia Mottley in gov this would not be an issue.

    Reply
  10. Alex Alleyne August 11, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    “agitator”.

    Reply
  11. Donild Trimp August 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    @ Rawle Spooner — —

    “Section 11(1) of the Town & Country Planning Act stipulates that the plan, which is now 14 years old, must be updated every five years”

    The law is quite clear.

    How will the Judge get around Section 11(1) ?

    Reply
  12. John king August 11, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Hats off and a Bow to comissiong. I think he will win. The law is in his favor so far.

    I sincerely hope that he wins cost on his application.

    His only hurdle is how the courts will interpret (Shall and Must be updated) on judicial interpretation against public policy considerations. which carries the greater weight in the scales of Justice

    (from legal begal king)

    Reply
  13. John king August 11, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    saga boy you’re so wrong here this time around, this is not political, It is legal

    (from legal begal king)

    Reply

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