Minister with responsibility for land and environment, Daryl Vaz, has withdrawn his application to lease lands in a protected area of Hollywell, St. Andrew.

Mr. Vaz in a statement this afternoon, says his decision comes following concerns and objections raised by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust, JCDT.

According to Minister Vaz, he applied to the National Land Agency in 2019 for a parcel of land adjoining the National Park after a previous application in 2017 was denied.     He says the application was considered suitable by the Forestry Department with conditions.

These include that no coffee be planted and that access to the property be outside the Hollywell Park.

Mr Vaz says his proposed lease for the land was in keeping with environmentally friendly park type log cabins at Hollywell.

He says his application was taken to the land divestment committee which decided the land should be advertised for bids.

This was done on May 20 with a June deadline.

The Minister says the JCDT after seeing the notice by the Land agency wrote a letter on June 11 objecting to the proposed lease.

He says his withdrawal was submitted the same day.

Minister with responsibility for Land and Environment Daryl Vaz.