Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green says permission was sought by and granted to RNK Investment Ltd to take the building being constructed at the corner of Camp and Robb Sts six storeys high as opposed to the four storeys initially applied for.
Further, while he was unaware of the lack of barricades at the eastern and southern sides of the structure, as per requirements, the mayor said it would be unfortunate if this was the case. Green pointed Stabroek News in the direction of City Engineer Colvern Venture to acquire a more comprehensive grasp of the operations, since he is responsible for granting the permissions in question.
Venture however, said that he would address the matter during the course of the week since he must interface with the Town Clerk before making a pronouncement. The Mayor offered the above comments in response to questions posed to him based on a letter written by City Councillor Anthony Boyce which appeared in the April 24th edition of the Stabroek News.
In the letter, Boyce said that RNK Investment Ltd had written to the City Engineer informing the officer of plans to commence construction of “a new four-storey building at 51 Camp and Robb Streets, Georgetown.”
The councillor noted that the building, which is still under construction, is now six storeys high, and asked if permission was sought and/or granted to undertake the modified construction.
Green said yesterday that municipal councillors should refrain from publicizing such statements without first consulting the persons with the necessary information. He said that permission was indeed sought at first to erect a four-storey building, but that permission was later sought by and granted to RNK Investment Ltd by the Georgetown municipality to go two storeys higher.
With regard to the lack of barricades, Stabroek News was told that the City Engineer’s Department had written to RNK Investment Ltd informing the entity that permission was granted to barricade the southern and eastern section of Lot 51 Camp and Robb Streets.
RNK Investment Ltd was further told that it was responsible that such barricades do not interfere with the safety of the public, and that work be carried out as quickly as possible. RNK was also told that it would have to provide danger lights at the extremities during the hours of darkness.
RNK was also advised that a minimum of 3’ 0’’ of pavement was to be left free for use by pedestrians, and that permission for barricading the pavement must not exceed one month. The Mayor was unable to comment on the presence or lack thereof at the construction site yesterday, and said that it would be regrettable if there were no barricaders indeed.
Earlier this month, a tourist was injured by falling debris from the building triggering concerns that its protective measures were insufficient. The injured man was cradling a visibly swollen arm and clutching his back when Stabroek News arrived at the scene. The incident occurred when the man attempted to enter his vehicle, which was parked along Robb Street. He related that as he approached the vehicle, he felt a sudden pain in his arm and back and a few seconds later he realised that he had been hit by falling construction material. Apart from the injury sustained by the tourist, the parked vehicle was also damaged.
There is no sign of danger lights at the extremities of the construction during the hours of darkness.
While questions on the building’s construction are important, Green explained, he is also concerned that the City Council has been unable to deal properly with the management of the city with regards to the construction of such buildings. These buildings will eventually attract staff and employees who drive and will be in need of parking space. As such, an already cluttered Robb Street is likely to see even more activity, in terms of drivers looking for parking space.
There is a very obvious lack of parking, an amenity which the Mayor said ought to be provided by the owners of the building. Instead, he said, proposals suggesting the above have been shut down by government. It was former president Bharrat Jagdeo, the Mayor recalled, who said that such a requirement would act as a disincentive for investment.