Construction at Palmetto point continued today, September 2, even after yesterday’s report that the Department of the Environment (DOE) was seeking to have work stopped on the Peace Love & Happiness (PLH) project.
In an August 31 letter bearing her signature, the Chief Environment Officer, Diane Black-Layne, recommends to the Development Control Authority (DCA) that “a stop order be immediately issued”
The letter advises Frederick Southwell, the Chief Town & Country Planner, that work undertaken at the RAMSAR-designated site since “July 16 was not subjected to any environmental and scientific review, guidance or monitoring.”
Accordingly, ecological damage had been done to the wetlands and historic sand dunes, and the project was deemed to be “not in compliance with regulatory rules and conditions of approval,” the letter says.
But a Barbudan source tells REAL News he does not believe that Southwell has issued the stop order.
“I do not believe Mr. Southwell has what it takes to act independently of what he is directed [by the political authorities] to do,” the man says. “If he does issue a stop order, it would indicate that something deeper is afoot, worth looking into,” he adds.
Other sources are implying that the letter might not even have been delivered to Southwell – because of the political implications of the project being halted and the backlash against the Department’s staff.
Meanwhile, the letter sets out remedial steps to be taken by the PLH with regard to the damage done to the wetlands and the destruction of the historic sand dunes – charges that had been levelled against the investor by resident Barbudans.