Thursday 9 April, 2020

Cruise facility in the works for Speightstown

The panel at the recently held town hall meeting for a proposed cruise facility in Speightstown

The panel at the recently held town hall meeting for a proposed cruise facility in Speightstown

A proposal for a cruise facility at Speightstown was met with pleas for the relevant authorities to be thorough in their studies and investigations before reaching a final decision.

This was the primary concern of those with vested interest in the development of the northern town center during a recently held town hall meeting at the Alexandra School hall last Wednesday evening.

Residents and business persons addressed several issues including how the construction of a jetty would alter the aesthetics of the quaint town and the environmental impact on the reefs in the area. Those with establishments in and around the area expressed concerns about relocation and possible loss of business. Questions were also raised about transportation, parking facilities and the provision of an adequate sewerage system.

However, those responsible for the project gave the assurance that the proposed development would not have any negative impact on the quaint town. While Member of Parliament for St Peter Colin Jordan highlighted increased economic activity was needed, he said everyone would be “taken into account”.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey echoed these sentiments.

“There is no intention on the government’s part to do any of these things without taking into consideration all of the businesses and the schools that are currently in the area.”

Lisa Cummins, speaking on behalf of the Port stated, 

“Our product is clearly differentiated. We have the tourism officials who are working extensively to ensure we have a contemporary product to service the contemporary needs of the industry but that we do so in a way that is consistent with our own national development objectives. We from the Barbados Port are going to make sure that we tie into the Barbados development vision and service not just clients, stakeholders and industry but also the people who are a part of our architecture and our DNA.”

Consultant for the Port on the project, Civil Engineer David Lashley, told those present that all investigations were being conducted to meet the necessary requirements of all the required agencies and departments.

Minister Humphrey stressed that those with the ultimate responsibility for the decision-making on the project will be guided by the passion that the people of Speightstown felt for the town and reassured that his team will strive to achieve the correct balance. While taking special note of all the concerns raised, Minister Humphrey declared that: “Barbados cannot remain static.”

He pointed out that ultimately the goal was not just to “flesh out a vision only for Speightstown or a vision only for the cruise sector or the cargo" but rather a vision which will move the country forward. 

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