Government remains committed to solving the problem of squatting at Rock Hall, St. Philip and will do so in a fair, reasonable and humane manner.
This commitment has come from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who explained that residents who were served with enforcement notices last week, need not become anxious, as it is another step toward that solution.
She noted further that while authorities are planning to have discussions with every household in the district to provide further details, in the interim, anyone who was served with an enforcement notice can visit the Town and Country Development Planning Office, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, to have any questions answered. Residents can also call 535-3000 or 535-3042.
The Prime Minister, who is responsible for town planning matters, pointed out that the notices were a necessary part of the process that would allow Government to cleanly acquire the land at Rock Hall, while facilitating the resettlement of the residents.
Ms. Mottley met with senior officials of the Town and Country Development Planning Office on Monday evening for the latest round of discussions on the Rock Hall solution and confirmed that areas earmarked for the resettlement included Parish Land and Dodds in St. Philip; Fairy Valley and Searles in Christ Church; and Chance Hall in St. Lucy.
The objective, the Prime Minister explained, is to resettle the more than 300 Rock Hall households in existing communities while accommodating as much as possible, those residents who have created bonds and who have asked to remain together.
“There are some households that look after each other. They take care of the elderly and children, and they have asked if we can keep them together, and to the extent that it is possible, we will facilitate them.
“It is clear that the vast majority of these Rock Hall residents are willing to cooperate. They have said so, and we will deal fairly with them, but at the end of the day, there are important issues of health and security that cannot be ignored. The land has to be clear, and no resettlement will be permitted,” she stated.
The Prime Minister noted that the Government had already engaged architectural and engineering expertise to design affordable and resilient houses, and residents would use the grants or loans Government will provide to undertake the construction.
“We want to ensure that the homes Rock Hall residents build and move into can withstand adverse weather conditions and that since they are moving into established communities, the structures must fit into the general ambience,” she said. Residents who have expressed concern that they cannot afford the application fee associated with erecting homes at the new locations need not worry since the grants/loans being provided will also cover this expense, Ms. Mottley pointed out.
Prime Minister’s Office