An old battle in Blue Range, Diego Martin, has been resurrected between residents and a land developer.
The residents say after two failed attempts in the past, they understand the developer has returned this time with surveyors in preparation to cut into the mountainside come Dry Season.
“Everything about this here, will have a negative impact, if you could build here then you it seems as if you can build anywhere, sorry to say,” said a frustrated Nicholas Adams.
He and almost a dozen residents from the Blue Range Association came out to voice their concerns to Guardian Media yesterday.
Their main concern is flooding. Diego Martin is known to be flood prone and the residents fear that the situation will be exacerbated if the trees are levelled in the hills.
“We’re not only worried about Blue Range residents, but this is also about unmanaged hillside development. As it is already, we have a lot of problems in this area, as it is the water runs down here like a river because there’s already some clearing on the hills and that water goes all the way down to St Lucien Road,” said Judith Gobin.
Another resident, Reginald McLean shares that some worry.
“We are not anti-development but if you’re going to develop something on a hill, then everything down the hill needs to be fixed. There is no drainage in Blue Range than can handle anything more than what exists here already.”
The association says the current drainage in Blue Range is undersized with four feet box drains and it was recommended that they double in size.
However, flooding isn’t the only concern, the resident says the hills are home to several species of animals such as monkeys and birds.
“My concern is the animals, we enjoy seeing them and they are here because it is a watershed and what I think they should decide to do here is make this a national park,” said Richard Hospidales, a resident of Blue Range for 36 years.
There’s no evidence of any works save a small clearing marked off with an orange tape wrapped around a stick planted vertically in the ground. The residents say they know these signs as this is not the first time they’ve had to object to development in the hills.
Representatives of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) came to speak with them yesterday and Guardian Media was told the EMA’s intervention was needed twice before. Once in 2008 and another time in 2012.
But it is the residents’ understanding that this time around, the developer said they have the necessary clearance from ‘a minister.’
They are hoping the EMA saves them for third time.