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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Residents want information on Greenvale

File photo: Crews clean drains on October 22 in the aftermath of flooding at Greenvale Park, La Horquetta the weekend before.
File photo: Crews clean drains on October 22 in the aftermath of flooding at Greenvale Park, La Horquetta the weekend before.

ATTORNEYS representing residents of the Greenvale Housing Development, whose homes were inundated with floodwaters in October, are seeking information, reports and other documentation relating to the development.

Several requests under the Freedom of Information Act have been sent to the Environmental Management Authority, Town and Country Planning, WASA, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the Drainage Division of the Ministry of Works.

They are asking for environmental reports, applications for environmental clearance, maps, plans, decisions taken, conditions imposed or mitigation measures given when approval was given for the project, any correspondence regarding adverse environmental effects the development might have, any monitoring of the development, or any notices of violation or administrative orders issued.

“The requested documents concern the development of the Greenvale Park Housing Project, which has been well publicized and has suffered devastating flooding in October 2018, thereby causing substantial hardship to the residents,” said one of the requests, applied for by attorney Dianne Mano, of Trinity Chambers, on behalf of residents.

In January, HDC managing director Brent Lyons said 483 units were affected.

On Tuesday, Energy Minister Franklin Khan told the Senate the Town and Country division refused permission for a development to be built in Green­vale in 2000 and 2009 be­cause the site was sub­ject to flood­ing, where "no de­vel­op­ment could be con­sid­ered."

He said the project be­gan just pri­or to 2009 and con­tin­ued after 2010.

"Search­es of the records of the T&C Plan­ning Di­vi­sion have re­vealed that plan­ning per­mis­sion for the de­vel­op­ment of a hous­ing com­mu­ni­ty in the area now known as the Green­vale Hous­ing de­vel­op­ment was re­fused on two oc­ca­sions—-2000 and 2009.

"Rea­sons were that the site fell in­to an area which un­der plan­ning pol­i­cy, was al­lo­cat­ed for agri­cul­ture. It fell with­in the Ca­roni riv­er flood plain and was sub­ject to flood­ing and the draft East-West cor­ri­dor Land Use Strat­e­gy Plan iden­ti­fied the site for land­scape/riv­er cor­ro­sion pur­pos­es - open space,"

Fi­nal plan­ning per­mis­sion was al­so re­fused on June 26, 2009, for the erec­tion of build­ings for sin­gle fam­i­ly and mul­ti-fam­i­ly res­i­den­tial pur­pos­es; res­i­den­tial/com­mer­cial pur­pos­es.

He said the site fell in an area allocated for conservation as it feel within the Caroni River flood plain "where no de­vel­op­ment could be con­sid­ered and the site formed part of a larg­er par­cel of land which didn't have the ben­e­fit of ap­proval for sub­di­vi­sion as re­quired un­der Town and Coun­try Plan­ning Act (Chp 35:01)."

Khan said in No­vem­ber 18, 2011, since the de­vel­op­ment of the site was "well ad­vanced", the Works Ministry con­sid­ered and ac­cept­ed, in prin­ci­ple, drainage pro­pos­als for Phas­es 1 - 111 sub­mit­ted by the HDC.

In May, 2014, Khan said HDC sub­mit­ted re­vised plans for the sub­di­vi­sion of land to cre­ate lots for res­i­den­tial/an­cil­lary pur­pos­es. Theplans were re­viewed and found to be ac­cept­able.

Fi­nal plan­ning per­mis­sion was grant­ed in Oc­to­ber 2014 and ap­pli­ca­tions sent by HDC to re­tain ex­ist­ing res­i­den­tial build­ings on site, were ap­proved in 2015 and 2016.

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