The current news that is about to hit the headlines/wave lines, is that the Cabinet of Grenada has given approval (in principle) to a foreign developer, who wants to “string” a ZIPLINE over and across the historic Grenada capital of St. George stretching from Mt. Wheldale to Fort George – a considerable suspended distance in midair which could have hazardous consequences.
This approval by Cabinet usurps the function of the existing Physical and Development Control Authority, which is the competent authority by law to give such approval. Is this a constitutional issue?
One wonders what type of developer would want to desecrate our capital city in the name of development by providing a few low-paying and unsustainable jobs to Grenadians, while destroying the prospects of Fort George becoming the premier tourism site of PURE GRENADA, after the police have been relocated, while at the same time ruin the possibility of St. George’s becoming a UNESCO nominated site, with exponential economic possibilities as opposed to this controversial project.
Conflict and controversy appear to be essential ingredients of our development processes, as the holistic welfare of “we the people” appears to be in deficit. Camerhogne Park and the current constitutional reform initiative are good examples.
It is situations like these that cause public speculation – as to whythe powers-that-be would want to encourage such a development. Could it be just to provide a few unsustainable jobs?
Who really would be the beneficiary of such an unsuitable and potentially disruptive development? Surely not Grenadians who may eventually be called upon to rescue its demise should it materalise.
In support of the foundation’s objection to this project tWRF has written to the Chairman of the Physical Planning Authority and publishes its contents, hereunder for public information.
Physical Planning Unit
Kirani James Boulevard
29th July, 2016
Dear Ms. Patricia Clarke,
Zip Line Proposal over our historic Capital City.
The Willie Redhead Foundation is strongly opposed to the proposed “Zip Line” project for the town of St. George, which seeks to connect Fort George to Mt Wheldale.
Projects of this nature are usually located in rural, sparsely populated areas, where the indigenous flora and fauna of a particular area can be viewed at high level as a tourism attraction. The city of St. George is in itself an historic tourism site, well regarded regionally as a unique Caribbean town-site. A Zipline over the town will not enhance this quality, but instead will destroy the aesthetic character of our Capital City.
The financial benefits to the developer and a few local jobs will at the same time destroy its historic ambience, as opposed to the huge economic benefits which can be derived by upgrading our Capital City.
In addition to the above demurral (objection), the following concerns can be added:
1. Privacy of the residents over which the zip line passes.
2. The record shows a very high percentage of injuries including fractured skulls, broken bones and sprained limbs occur among users of zip lines
3. Security risk at the Fort, which currently houses the Police Headquarters.
4. Endangerment of the residents and business communities in the city including private and public road users.
5. The excavation and construction of anchorage points, stanchions,
columns etc on Fort George can, and would seriously affect – perhaps destroy the present historic underground tunnels and water storage areas within the Fort.
6. Potential destruction of a major heritage site (Fort George)
7. Cables on zip lines have a potential to succumb to salt air
8. Lessen our chances of Fort George becoming a UNESCO site
9. Facilities for parking at departure and arrival points would pose a major challenge.
10. Proximity of Mt. Wheldale anchorage site to the new state of the art Parliament building and the proposed restoration of Govt. House.
It would appear that the physical and aesthetic destruction and its consequences – of a major heritage and tourism site, that of Fort George has not be seriously considered.
We therefore strongly recommend that this project of a highly hazardous nature be not approved for the city of St George and its environs.
The Willie Redhead Foundation
Samuel “Tim” Byam – President.
*Hon. Nikolas Steele – Parliamentary Representative for the Town of St. George
*Hon. Senator Brenda Hood – Minister for Heritage & Culture
*Hon. Gregory Bowen – Minister of Works
*Hon. Alexandra Otway- Noel – Minister of Implementation
*President Grenada National Trust
*CTO Physical Planning Unit
*Leslie-Ann Seon, Chairman G’da Industrial Dev. Corporation (GIDC)
(The above represents the views of the Willie Redhead Foundation)