Planning consent has been given for an industrial scale boatyard at the top of Mt Hartman Bay removing ancient mangroves, causing pollution, contamination and silting of the sea.
A number of LAE residents and others asked Coral Cove Group to oppose this. We consulted you and the view was that we should try to take legal action to stop this development by judicial review (as prospects for ensuring that adequate mitigation measures are implemented during development were non-existent).
We asked for contributions to legal fees to do this. Thank you to those who responded and a reminder to those who promised but have yet to contribute.
The developer has cleared the whole site in a way that violates the planning conditions attached to the planning consent. He also burned the timber in charcoal pits causing great distress to neighbours day and night for several days ignoring requests from neighbours to cease.
We have been discussing the whole matter with the Planning and Development Authority. This is now ‘under new management’ with a completely new board and senior staff and it is clear that things are changing and the new board is willing to listen and improve how the Authority functions. But it is stuck with some messy situations from the previous administration including the boatyard one.
To try to avoid lengthy court procedures, we have proposed to the Authority that it revokes the planning consent and obliges the developer to apply again if he wants to whilst we provide the evidence against this development prior to any decision being made and so that the Authority could make an informed decision paying attention to the objections of relevant government experts (public health, fisheries, agriculture and climate change etc.) and of residents and environmental groups.
Because the developer has violated his planning conditions already just in clearing the land, the Authority can revoke the consent without compensation and, of course, avoid the costs and embarrassment of yet another judicial review in the courts.
The Physical Planning and Development Act 2016 is clear that “…the Authority may, at any time, revoke its permission to develop the land in question or any part thereof, without compensation, if any condition attached to the permission to develop the land is not complied with.” S. 23 (6). We have a legitimate expectation that the Authority should do so and if it does not, it is open to further judicial review by failing in its duties.
We await to hear the outcome and if this is not prompt and favourable we have no option but to issue judicial review proceedings.
Extracts from letter before action sent to the Authority 24 April 2023:
(1). The details of the matter being challenged
The failure of the Planning and Development Authority (the Authority) to perform its duties to issue Enforcement and Stop Notices and to revoke planning permission under the Physical Planning and Development Control Act 2016 when the developer has violated the Conditions of its planning consent.
(2). The details of any Interested Parties
Grenada Green Boatyard & Marine Services Limited
PO Box 1841
(3). The issue
On 30 August 2022, the Authority granted planning permission to the Interested Party to construct a boatyard and marina at Mt Harman.
The permission was subject to certain conditions. Condition 6 was that “all mitigative [sic] measures set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment are implemented”.
One of these measures – indeed a key measure as noted in the EIA – is that the developer “Deploy silt curtains in the water at the perimeter of the reclamation area to minimise or eliminate unwanted movements of sediment off- site.” This is to prevent the “siltation of the nearshore marine environment during land clearing, excavation and reclamation”.
No such silt curtains have been deployed whilst clearing, excavation and reclamation have been and are performed.
Another measure required by the planning permission
Condition 6 is to “develop a vegetation removal plan prior to land preparation and avoid clear cutting of vegetation”. This has not been done whilst land preparation and clear cutting of vegetation have been performed and continue to be performed.
Another measure required by the planning
Condition 6 demands field dust control techniques including regular surface wetting are required during clearance of the land. This has not been done and is not being done.
Clearly, these are violations of the planning permission as granted.
The measures required by the planning consent
Conditions are to prevent serious environmental degradation of the sea, protect ancient and vital mangroves and wildlife and to prevent adverse health consequences for residents.
The Authority has been told about these violations (letters 20 March 2023 and 27 March 2023) and action demanded. No response has been forthcoming from the Authority and no action has been taken.
Actions the defendant (are) expected to take.
In view of these facts, the Claimant has a legitimate expectation that the Authority should Issue an Enforcement Notice under the Physical Planning and Development Control Act 2016 S. 31 (1) (b).
Furthermore that the Authority should issue a Stop Notice under S. 33 (1) to prevent further damage immediately.
And furthermore that the Authority should revoke the planning consent under S. 23 (6) “the Authority may, at any time, revoke its permission to develop the land in question or any part thereof, without compensation, if any condition attached to the permission to develop the land is not complied with”.
Coral Cove Group
L’Anse aux Epines