Kingston mayor cancels building plan amidst conflict

Claudienne Edwards

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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A conflict between technical experts and the Building and Town Planning Committee of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has resulted in the cancellation of a building plan for an apartment building in Elletson Flats.

The cancellation happened on Tuesday by Kingston Mayor Angela Brown Burke -- a week after the plan was approved by the committee -- during the KSAC's monthly meeting at his Church Street headquarters in downtown Kingston. The mayor also cancelled the Building and Town Planning Committee meeting, which was scheduled for next Wednesday, pending an investigation of the matter.

"The decision will not stand. I have suspended the Building and Town Planning meeting for next Wednesday. I have got a briefing from the technical officers," the mayor declared.

By way of a question at the council meeting, Jamaica Labour Party councillor Vernon McLeod (Havendale division) queried on what basis the approval of the plan was made at the meeting of the committee last week. He also asked why the refusal of the plan by the National Environment and Planning Agency, the government town planner and the city engineer was ignored.

As background to the committee's decision last week Wednesday, McLeod pointed out that the plan in question had previously been before the committee several times but had not been approved because adjustments were needed.

He said that in 2009 the KSAC issued a cease order for the structure, but it was not obeyed.

The KSAC took the matter to court and in late 2009 a ruling was handed down for the building to be demolished.

McLeod said that in July 2012, a revised application plan for the apartment was made to the committee. However, the technical experts again did not approve the plan. Among the reasons given for the non-approval were the distance from the boundary and inadequate parking.

He said that the committee overrode the technical reasons given for the refusal and approved the plan last week.

Mayor Burke said that McLeod's questions would be answered at the March council meeting.




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