'Penny wise and pound foolish'

'Penny wise and pound foolish'

No approval given for building that collapsed, says Mandeville's mayor

Thursday, October 29, 2020

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CHRISTIANA, Manchester — Mayor of Mandeville and chairman of the Manchester Municipal Corporation, Donovan Mitchell, says the developer of a three-storey building that collapsed during heavy rain in Christiana earlier this week has been given 14 days' notice to demolish the structure.

Mitchell identified the developer as businessman Paul Patmore.

Mitchell told journalists yesterday that no approval was given by the local municipality to construct the building, which collapsed in the floodwaters.

“The building [developer] got no permission from the Manchester Municipal Corporation and so we have issued a stop order and an enforcement notice,” said Mitchell.

When contacted yesterday, Patmore told the Jamaica Observer that the building had been under construction since January.

“The parish council had over six months to see the building and they said nothing,” argued Patmore.

“I have 12 buildings that have been approved. This is the only one that it started out as a container and we added onto it [from] January,” he added.

According to Patmore, the building will be demolished in keeping with the instruction of the Manchester Municipal Corporation.

“We have some shutters and we are pulling them off and we are going to get a backhoe to draw down the structure, but it can't be done before the rain stops,” he said.

Mitchell said he visited the site and instructed that work be stopped.

“On [Tuesday] I went there and there were young men on top of the building trying to do some work and I made it clear that they were to get off the building, because it is unstable. We have asked the owners to use the correct equipment and people to demolish the building,” added Mitchell, as he appealed to developers in the parish to seek advice and approval from the municipal authority.

“I just want to appeal to developers, because what I see up there [Christiana] is penny wise and pound foolish. You have spent millions of dollars trying to build something and at the end of the day I don't think any engineering thought was put into the thing, and so I am asking that developers just seek some advice from the [parish] council,” he said.

“It is better for you to spend the money doing the right thing than have to spend twice the amount at the end of the day, so I am appealing to the developers in this parish to just do the right thing,” added Mitchell.

— Kasey Williams

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