Report on Bernard Lodge development to be discussed with public, says PM

Report on Bernard Lodge development to be discussed with public, says PM

Saturday, August 31, 2019

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness says a full report on the controversial Bernard Lodge housing development will be presented to the public in short order.

“The reports that I've gotten so far have suggested that provisions have been made within the acreage that is available to accommodate the farmers that are there, and indeed, if you look at the entire development, a large part of it will still remain in agriculture,” Holness said yesterday at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Twickenham Glades Phase 4 development in St Catherine.

He said he has asked Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, to prepare a full report to present to the public.

“Much of what is being discussed is creating a narrative without having the full information so that the public can genuinely make a decision,” a news release from the Office of the Prime Minister quoted Holness.

Earlier this year, concerns were raised by farmers about farmlands that fall inside the area categorised as Block C in the development area which was purchased by a holding company.

The prime minister asserted that there has to be far greater and in-depth studies done on the problem so that the Government can make decisions empirically.

“I've seen where it has been said that Bernard Lodge is going to be the new city. I've not described Bernard Lodge as the new city. The Bernard Lodge development will be a new township. It will expand the Portmore development but it won't be technically classified as a city because, for an area to be classified as a city, there are some amenities and buildings and features that must be in place and those will not be in place at Bernard Lodge, at least not in its initial development,” said Holness.

The Bernard Lodge development is expected to have 17,000 houses with a mix of light industrial and agricultural holdings and social amenities in what is expected to be the most technologically advanced township that Jamaica will see.

Yesterday, Holness underscored that while the Bernard Lodge development will be a new town, the Government is doing work to determine where the third city could be in Jamaica.

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