Three spots are being considered by the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell for the planned relocation of Camerhogne Park in the south of the island.
Plans are in the pipeline to use the original Camerhogne Park to facilitate construction of a 400-room hotel estimated to cost US$120M by Egyptian Billionaire, Naguib Sawiris.
Although Prime Minister Mitchell refused to identify the possible new locations, former Government Minister Phinsley St. Louis gave hints about the areas that are being considered.
St. Louis was recently named by government as a member of a committee of stakeholders to look at how the Camerhogne Park is used and if it can be improved in the existing location or improved at another location.
According to the ex-Congress Cabinet member, the sites under review for relocating the park were shown to him by current Health Minister, Nickolas Steele.
He said one is in the vicinity of The Umbrellas, another close to the Grand Anse cemetery and the other location is in the area of the Coconut Beach Restaurant.
Prime Minister Mitchell told reporters earlier in the month that, “Government has made no decision with respect to Camerhogne Park”.
However, in a post-Cabinet press briefing one week earlier, Senator Winston Garraway announced that there will be an upgraded park in a new location adjacent to the present park.
Sen. Garraway said there is on the table a proposal for the upgrade and enhancement of a new park with modern facilities and modern amenities.
According to St. Louis who once represented the South St. George Constituency in Parliament, he raised the park issues on a number of occasions with Prime Minister Mitchell.
He told the host of a local television programme that the very first time it was announced that moves are on to have the park used as part of the Riviera Hotel Development Project he met with Dr. Mitchell who assured him that Camerhogne Park will not be removed or replaced for any other use except another suitable place can be found for it.
The former Parliamentarian indicated that he pointed out to Dr. Mitchell that he cannot see any suitable place on Grand Anse Beach that can be used to develop a new park for use by locals.
“I am mortally concerned about the park being used for any other thing,” he said.
St. Louis stated that he got more concerned about the future of the facility when it was mentioned by Dr. Mitchell in his capacity as Minister of Finance in presenting the 2016 budget.
Dr. Mitchell told Parliament the Riviera Hotel is now being designed and during that phase of the project the investors have agreed to construct a new Camerhogne Park nearby.
St. Louis spoke of once again meeting Dr. Mitchell early in the new year and was told by him that although there are proposals on the table, a decision has not been reached about Camerhogne Park.
However, one day later Minister Steele who served as an emissary for Dr. Mitchell met St. Louis and provided him with the three proposed locations for Camerhogne Park.
St. Louis is adamant that the best way to have the matter settled is through a referendum.
“The government would try to see how they can probably hoodwink the people if you’re giving three (sites) for one (park),” he told the programme host.
Like the ex-government minister, Labour Senator Raymond Roberts continues to maintain his opposition to the relocation of Camerhogne Park by rejecting the idea of having the area of the cemetery as a possible site.
Sen. Roberts who was also a guest on the television programme believes this would be a desecration of the nearby Blessed Sacrament Church.
He indicated that it can also serve as a distraction to funerals at the cemetery that take place almost every day.
“Those of us who experience Camerhogne Park know it’s a park for a variety of activities. The church has service every day in the week.
There is a funeral nearly every day,” he said.
Local Engineer Tim Byam believes the time has come for zoning of projects.
Byam who was another guest on the programme believes Grenada has a lot of potential for development, but said the question that has to be asked is whether government is ready to enhance development.
He called for a controlled development of Grand Anse Beach, while expressing fears that the beach can be lost if care is not taken.
A 1989 Tourism Master Plan discourages and calls for restrictions on any further development around the world famous beach.