Phillips pledges support for review of Bernard Lodge Project

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — People's National Party (PNP) president, Dr Peter Phillips is pledging his support for the study and review of the Bernard Lodge New City Project, announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday.

Phillips urged that the review of the project — being implemented by the government on sugar lands owned by the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) — goes further than the spatial and transport concerns outlined by Holness to include other technical issues raised by hydrologists and other technical experts.

The review, Phillips said, must also include details of the divestment process used by the SCJ to sell the lands, which is known to be among Jamaica's most productive agricultural lands.

The Opposition Leader is also proposing that the review should include independent state commissions, including the Auditor General and the Water Resources Authority to ensure transparency and technically sound decisions.

At the same time, Phillips also wants public consultation as part of the review so that property owners in the numerous housing and business developments in the Southern St Catherine Plains, in general and Portmore in particular, can contribute to the planning process of the development project.

“The contribution of the independent commissions and the people are extremely necessary as the government and its agencies could not be expected to review themselves,” Phillips said.

He added that his proposals are intended to improve the outcomes of the review ordered by the prime minister and should not be viewed as hostility to the Bernard Lodge project.

It is important, he said, that the issues raised in the public square are fully aired to the satisfactory conclusion of all parties.

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