MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE: Pintard calls for appropriate due diligence on housing developments

MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE: Pintard calls for appropriate due diligence on housing developments

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Opposition Leader Michael Pintard said yesterday that while the Free National Movement (FNM) parliamentary caucus supports all attempts to empower Bahamians and create Bahamian homeowners, all the appropriate boxes must be checked with each housing development to ensure the success of the project.

Parliament debated a resolution to transfer Crown Land in southern New Providence from one government entity to another — the Ministry of Housing.

During his contribution, Pintard said the government, upon coming to office, explained why the Prospect Ridge development proposed under the previous administration ought not to be pursued.

The government said critical steps such as a feasibility study, topography study and development of a master plan were not done.

“What is interesting about that is that as we present the resolution today with respect to this project, which is well on its way, that one would think that in the interest of ensuring the empowerment of these residents and in the interest of saying to this public ‘this is how you do it’ this resolution and the site plan that has been included would have been accompanied by several other documents,” Pintard said.

“Let me say, having spoken to the majority of my colleagues, we are in agreement with the production of homes.

“We think this is a good thing and we prefer urgency in action, so let me be clear.

“But what we would also like is for some help so we could know we are supporting a project that is in all aspects well thought out, well planned out and — to borrow a term from the present minister of housing — having met all of the necessary protocols and having checked the appropriate boxes.”

He said the resolution did not include an environmental impact assessment, which could allay fears about flooding in South Beach or the potential for flooding.

He also said a topography study also appeared to be missing, though he noted both documents could be presented at a later time.

In response, Minister of Housing and Transport JoBeth Coleby-Davis said a topography report was completed and the design for the development includes drainage, with the clearing of the lake for water to pass through, underway.

She said all steps are being taken for the subdivision in Pine Crest.

Pintard called for the minister to table the reports in Parliament.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.