Some residents of Industry Cove in Hanover, are taking the National Housing Trust (NHT) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to court over a development they contend will harm the environment.
The residents say the NHT is building a housing scheme and an accompanying sewage treatment plant which will discharge effluent into the sea at a public beach in their community. They say NEPA has issued a permit for NHT to proceed with the development.
The attorney representing the residents, Robert Collie, says NEPA failed to demand an environmental impact assessment from the NHT, before granting the permit.
He says a group of US-based environmental engineers have examined the development and determined that it could be hazardous to the environment.
He says Industry Cove residents have also reported that they’re being intimidated due to the impending court battle.
In the meantime, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is demanding sanctions for state bodies that breach environmental protection laws.
CEO of JET, Suzanne Stanley, says the development in Industry Cove began without the required environmental permit being granted. She says even the developer, the NHT, continued construction after a warning notice had been served by NEPA.
Ms. Stanley says Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and the Minister with responsibility for Land, Environment and Climate Change, Daryl Vaz, should put a stop order on the development.
She’s also taking issue with how permits are issued for developments. Ms. Stanley says all the necessary permits should be secured before construction projects are allowed to start.