Opponents of turning Camerhogne Park into a hotel site have won a temporary victory in their battle with the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
During a press conference held last week in St. George’s, Dr. Mitchell announced that the developers have agreed to proceed with the project for the time being without incorporating the park.
However, he warned that the issue of the Camerhogne Park is not dead as it can be revisited sometime in the future.
“Investors of Silver Sands have now committed to building the Riviera Project. The clearing up and so on will start sometime in November and is expected to add an additional 120 rooms without Camerhogne Park.
That isn’t to say that they may not be some initiative in the future but right now it would be done without Camerhogne Park,” Prime Minister Mitchell told reporters.
Speculation is now rife that the Grenadian leader intends to revisit the issue if the NNP wins the next general election widely expected within the next year.
A Save Camerhogne Park Committee, under the leadership of Labour Senator, Ray Roberts has been in the forefront of moves to block the sale of the park to Egyptian Billionaire, Naguib Sawiris who is behind the hotel project.
The Committee has consistently called on the Mitchell government to reconsider the sale of Camerhogne Park, stating that it is the only green space on the island and an area that is appreciated by many Grenadians.
The Roberts-led group have been engaged in several actions including petitions signed by thousands of locals in an effort to have the park remain as part of Grenada’s patronage.
Prime Minister Mitchell told reporters at the press briefing that although the investors will proceed without the park, it still remains open for a revisit.
“The investors will accept whatever the government agrees to. In other words if the government says never touch Camerhogne Park, they are not interested (in getting the park for the project)”, he said.
“…The government is saying that we should still leave it open because I believe in development and my position on Camerhogne Park has been well known, so I would not say that I would not push to have that, maybe I would be out of government and still pushing to have it,” he added.
The Prime Minister indicated that the Riviera project will be major in scope and with lots of jobs for persons on the island.
“They (developers) have given instructions to the architects and the design is taking place. They hope to submit their drawing soon,” Dr. Mitchell said.
During its campaign to win the 2013 general elections, the NNP had promised construction of five 5-star hotels but only the Silver Sands project has actually started.