A recent legal opinion sought by the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) on the validity of certain leases the CDA entered into just before the last general election has identified four that contravene what is approved for the area.
Using the 1974 Development Plan as the only existing legal framework to guide activities in the Chaguaramas peninsula, the legal opinion, from MG Daly & Partners, is clear that no one, including a minister, can direct the CDA to act in contravention of this plan, a CDA source told Newsday yesterday.
Therefore, when the CDA entered into leases with Animals for Education, Point Gourde Development, Shoreline Marina and Hard Rock Café, and Eco Resort, it would have permitted uses that do not conform with approved activities, the source said. The CDA has written to these four lessees telling them so and inviting them to a meeting.
The CDA source said there is concern especially about the safari park run by Animals for Education, as activities there appear to be accelerating despite the notice and earlier advice.
The source said this was troubling, as the advice to Animals for Education is quite clear that the uses permitted under the lease are to run a zoological garden for wildlife conservation practices. The prime real estate in the peninsula entrusted to the CDA must be for the benefit of the country and how CDA resolves it is of national concern, the source said.