Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says clarification on the status of the Bernard Lodge housing project in St. Catherine, in light of concerns raised, will be provided soon.
Mr. Holness said the project, which aims to provide 1,600 housing solutions, has been halted to address stakeholder concerns regarding, among other things, issues with the perceived displacement of agricultural activities.
“I have asked Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, to prepare a full report to bring to the public,” Mr. Holness informed.
He was speaking at Friday’s (August 30) ground-breaking ceremony for the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) $1.46 billion Twickenham Glades housing development in St. Catherine.
Mr. Holness said much of the concerns are being discussed by persons without their having the full information.
“The reports that I have gotten so far have suggested that provisions have been made within the acreage that is available to accommodate the farmers who are there… and, indeed, if you look at the entire development, a large part of it will still remain in agriculture,” he indicated.
The Prime Minister contended that the Government “can’t just make decisions by virtue of who has the loudest and most influential voice”.
“There has to be far greater and in-depth studies done on the problem, so that we make our decisions empirically… and that is what we are doing now with Bernard Lodge,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness advised that there are no plans for the Bernard Lodge development to be classified as a city.
“Bernard Lodge will be a new township… it will expand the Portmore development… but it won’t technically be classified as a city. There are some amenities, buildings and features that must be in place… and those will not be in place in Bernard Lodge… at least not in its initial development,” he emphasized.
The project will be located on the northern boundary of the Highway 2000 road reservation and will extend from the Lime Tree Grove community in the east, and approximately four kilometres to the Windsor Road community in the west.
The 16-month Twickenham Glades project, the NHT’s newest development, will comprise 110 single storey two-bedroom duplex units built on five hectares (12.21 acres) of land, located along the westbound side of Mandela Highway in Twickenham Park.
The project, which is slated for completion in December 2020, is the fourth phase of the NHT’s Twickenham Park Housing Development.
The initial three comprise 767 units developed in the adjoining Union Estates.
Source: JIS News