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PM – Chill Spot did not satisfy requirements of Physical Planning

PM – Chill Spot did not satisfy  requirements of Physical Planning

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While the operators of the Chill Spot Bar & Grill did try to resolve some of the environmental and health issues at their business place, the Physical Planning Authorities were not satisfied with the steps taken.

Prime Minster Dr Ralph Gonsalves made this disclosure during a media conference at Cabinet Room yesterday. “I’m not saying they didn’t try to do something, but what the Planning Authorities are saying is what you did was not satisfactory and in fact, things which were done were not approved,” the Prime Minister said.

Gonsalves’ statement came after an enforcement action was carried out at the Chill Spot Bar & Grill and Aqua Restaurant & Grill at Arnos Vale on Wednesday, during which workers hired by the Physical Planning Unit demolished the outside grilling areas of both businesses.{{more}}

The Prime Minister said his interest is in having the matter resolved in a manner which is fair and reasonable.

He stated that while the operators of the Chill Spot Bar & Grill had filed an appeal after receiving the order from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Development to cease operation, what they lodged, according to the Attorney General, was not a proper appeal.

“…What Mr Oliver has purported to lodge is not an appeal under the Act and cannot stay the proceeding,” Gonsalves said, reading from a letter provided by the Attorney General’s office.

“There is no automatic stay under Section 27. This matter has been going on for a considerable time. The Board is prepared to hold discussion to assist Mr Oliver in setting forth a proper application for planning permission and complying with any conditions that may be inherent in the grant of such provision, however these discussions may take place only after the legal development has ceased in conformity with the enforcement notice,” the letter continued.

The Prime Minister said that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Development, after being informed by the Ministry of Legal Affairs that there was no stay on the enforcement action, decided at an emergency meeting for the enforcement action to take place at 9:30 a.m. on September 21, 2016.

“It is never easy when the Planning Board makes these decisions…I am very interested in the matter being addressed in a manner where the operators and Physical Planning engage in dialogue. See what can be done to restore business,” Gonsalves noted.

Gonsalves stated that this action is one of the many functions of the Physical Planning and Development Board which is governed by law.

Some other functions include: ensuring the orderly and progressive development of land and the proper planning of town and country areas; to control development by such means as are provided by the Act and to do all other things necessary for the carrying out for the purposes and provisions of this Act.

The Prime Minister said he is hoping that the business operators will be willing to work with the Physical Planning and Development Board to reach a reasonable resolution on the issue which has been ongoing for over three years.

“Children have been suffering, residents have been suffering. So how do you achieve this balance of live and let live? That balance is achieved in countries and in locations all over the world and we can do it. Everybody just has to be reasonable and let’s work together.”

Gonsalves also said that while the Arnos Vale area had in the past been mainly a residential area, persons do have the right to conduct businesses in the area.

“There is no zoning law against them, however if you are having a restaurant, if you are having any business in the area, it has to function within the planning laws of the country and if you are doing a restaurant additionally, it must comply with the health law of the country,” he explained. (CM)

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