It’s a victory for the owner and operator of the Kids R Wonderful Daycare and Pre-school, Michelle Gilbert over the developers of the Silver Sands hotel who had controversially installed two (2) large propane tanks near to her boundary line.
Gilbert is now breathing a sigh of relief after last Wednesday witnessing the removal of the tanks following the exposure given to the issue by THE NEW TODAY newspaper which called the installation of the tank as a major health risk to the nation’s school children.
The tanks were put a mere 9 meters away from the boundary line of the school and just a few meters away from the entrance to her home.
Gilbert had written letters to the relevant authorities at the beginning of June detailing some major health concerns with the underground Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanks installation so close to her home and business, which caters for close to 100 children daily.
The removal of the tanks comes approximately 6 weeks after the publication of an article headlined “Silver Sands hotel creating more problems” in the July 20 issue of THE NEW TODAY.
Prior to the removal of the tanks, TVA Consultants Ltd. defended its decision to install the gas tanks in close proximity to Gilbert’s home and business via a letter in July, which stated that the reason for the decision to use underground tanks in lieu of an above ground tank to service the laundry building, was “based on safety” to avoid running the “risk of collision from vehicles using the driveway even if the tank is cordoned off.”
The letter also pointed out that “the actual installation and placement of the tanks have been done in strict accordance with international codes specifically relating to the storage, handling and transportation of LPG”.
The letter also said in part: “In addition to adhering (to) the boundary setbacks as stipulated in the … codes, a reinforced block-work fence wall is being erected on three sides of the installation along the boundary with Kid’s R Wonderful Day Care & Pre-School, along the access road to the beach and along the southern line of the LPG enclosure”.
However, Gilbert contended that international standards would not allow “something like that to be installed in such close proximity to a school.”
An environmental expert told this newspaper that if this had happened in the United States or a developed country the hotel project would have been closed down for endangering the children.
Speaking exclusively with THE NEW TODAY last Wednesday, the relieved businesswoman breathed a deep sigh of relief and expressed gratitude to newly elected Member of Parliament for the area, Health Minister Nicholas Steele, for looking into the matter as promised.
“I want to thank Minister Steele for looking into the matter, he promised he would and then he called me back to let me know that they were going to remove the tanks and finally they are moving it. So, I am grateful and I feel relieved…I felt very uncomfortable with the tanks so close (9 ft from my boundary),” Gilbert said.
About one week before removing the underground gas tanks, the Silver Sands developers had installed two (2) smaller versions on the roof of one of the buildings on the opposite side of the road leading up to Gilbert’s property and the Grand Anse Beach but closer to the Grand Anse main road.