We, Grenada Land Actors Inc. (GLA) welcome the long awaited ruling of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal in its case against the Planning and Development Authority of Grenada and the three developers at La Sagesse (Range Developments (Grenada) Ltd.), Mt. Hartman (The Hartman Group Ltd.) and Levera (Singapore Heng Sheng (G’da) Development Pte. Ltd).
The Court dismissed the appeal in favour of us, GLA. GLA were the respondents defending the appeal.
The Court ruled that the case must proceed and that the issue of standing, that is, whether or not GLA has the right to bring an environmental challenge, must be determined at the full trial of the case.
Additionally, the Court ordered that the Physical Planning and Development Authority, together with the developers, must pay the costs of the appeal to GLA, to be agreed, if not, to be assessed by a High Court Judge within 21 days.
This marks a resounding victory for GLA and for the Public as it ensures the Public the right of access to justice in environmental matters.
We want to publicly thank our legal team, in particular Professor Leslie Thomas KC, Mr. David Neale and Ms. Rita Joseph-Olivetti who worked tirelessly with the support of international groups like ELAW to assist GLA in reaching this point.
We also want to thank the members and friends of GLA who have provided invaluable support in this action. The battle for environmental justice has just begun.
Be assured that GLA will continue to advocate for transparency, participation and accountability at the Physical Planning and Development Authority, and for the Government to adhere to the laws, rules and regulations of Grenada and to its international obligations to protect the environment, to ensure sustainable development and a healthy environment for all its people.
As GLA continues its fight for environmental justice, we must bring to the public attention several matters which need to be addressed urgently.
Range Developments (Grenada) Ltd. the developers at La Sagesse, have prevented public access to the back beach (Lance Pierre) at La Sagesse by destroying the established track leading to it from the main La Sagesse beach. They have not provided an alternative and safe route for the Public.
Range has also caused considerable damage to the south end of the main La Sagesse beach by constructing a large culvert connecting to the La Sagesse Pond which they have largely backfilled.
Range is also removing large amounts of coastal vegetation to accommodate their further developments along this small stretch of coastline. This would be a breach of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Act of 2019.
Development is continuing unchecked at Mt. Hartman, by the Developers (The Hartman Group Ltd), in close vicinity to the Grenada Dove Sanctuary and important wetland and mangrove habitat.
The full plans and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this massive University Town and Resort have not yet been revealed.
Singapore Heng Sheng (G’da) Development Pte., the developers at Levera, have not disclosed any separate EIA for the construction of the 18 hole golf course at Levera, which they state was designed by Robert Trent Jones II – Golf Course Architects of the USA. Instead, they are forging ahead with clearing huge swathes of trees and undergrowth.
GLA recently received the EIA that was conducted for the development of the hotel and resort at Levera and GLA coordinated and released a comprehensive technical review (https://grenadaland.org/s/Grenada-Land-Actors-Review-of-Levera-National-Resort-EIA_10- FEB-2023.pdf) which shows the enormous deficiencies contained in this report, which are not in keeping with a 2 Billion dollar development in one of the most sensitive ecological sites in Grenada.
We at GLA are concerned that irreversible damage will ensue to the environment at Levera which includes the Levera National Park and in particular to the neighbouring Ramsar site, an internationally protected wetlands site and consequently invaluable to the people of Grenada and the World.
GLA will also continue to lobby the Planning Authority to ensure that it does its duty to adequately and effectively monitor all development projects in environmentally vulnerable areas and enforce the law and supporting regulations without fear or favour.
Submitted by The Grenada Land Actors Inc.