More channels could be explored to resolve issue with Planning, Chill Spot – Eustace
October 7, 2016
More channels could be explored to resolve issue with Planning, Chill Spot – Eustace

The government has not explored all available channels to resolve the issue between the Physical Planning Unit and the owners of Chill Spot Bar & Grill and the Aqua Restaurant and Lounge.

This is the view of Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, who made the pronouncement at a press conference last Tuesday at the Democrat House.{{more}}

Last month, the Physical Planning Unit demolished outdoor structures belonging to both businesses as part of a ‘cease and desist’ order they had issued. Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves had earlier said that the Physical Planning Unit was not satisfied with the steps taken by the owners of the businesses to resolve certain environmental and health issues.

Eustace, however, believes that the demolition of these businesses is just another form of political punishment at the hands of the Unity Labour Party (ULP).

“Their focus was on political punishment of their perceived enemies. Not on problem solving for the good of the community.”

The Opposition Leader, however, stated that in order to resolve the issue stakeholders need to take five broad points into consideration.

“The country’s planning regulations must be observed by all. If you violate it you are wrong. The residents of the area are entitled to live in their homes without unreasonable nuisance… and threats to their environment and or their physical and physiological health.

“The relevant public health and environmental regulations must be observed… if we are talking about planned, organizing co-ordinated development we have to observe all these things. And, of course the dismal state of the economy must be acknowledged and the loss of jobs in a situation of high unemployment and where businesses are closing down every minute,” he added.

The economist, however, noted that the Government needs to also encourage the local private sector persons who are willing to take risks and invest in developing businesses.

“We have to encourage them by coming up with programmes and policies and measure to have them have confidence in the process and the put their money and time into it.”

He stated that when the NDP forms government they will facilitate a truly consultative democracy that will give Vincentians pride of place in the economic developmental thrust of the country.

“I can assure you that when we take our rightful place as the government of this country, we will continue to deal with such matters in a fashion that is consultative, measured and fair,” he said.

“We believe that a more inclusive consultation now needs to take place with all of the shareholders and stakeholders in this matter to arrive at a position of compromise on this matter.”

He stated that instead of just closing businesses, there needs to be discussions to come to a conclusion on the way forward. (CM)