The proprietor of a colonial-style building on North Road, Georgetown has expressed concern over the construction of a neighbouring three-storey building by Crown Mining Supplies, which she is fearful will cause severe damage to the property.
Renata Chuck-A-Sang, owner of the property, which houses the Dutch Bottle Café, yesterday said that when workers began pile driving for the foundation of the nearby building, she felt strong vibrations.
“I cannot for the life of me understand why the council would grant permission to allow pile driving next to a building that is over a hundred years old,” Chuck-A-Sang said.
She noted that when the exercise started yesterday morning, she was moved by the vibrations. “This is 2018. I am sure there is another way the foundation to construct a three-storey building could have been done without the need to drive piles,” she said. “This is like you are using a sledge hammer to kill a cockroach,” she added.
According to Chuck-A-Sang, her property is not the only vintage building on the street as another is next door but is currently unoccupied.
She said that the company and its contractors had informed her that they would compensate her for any damage but she is concerned that if any damage occurs, the contractor and the mining company would not be able to fully rehabilitate the building to its original aesthetics.
She further explained that they were not given any notice informing them when construction would start. She added that she also had to contact the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) about the construction since a sewerage line is laid within the vicinity.
“We had to call GWI and ask them if they are aware of this construction and they said no. When we tell them of the sewerage line in the area, they said they would come and check but none came,” she related.
Efforts to contact an official at Crown Mining Supplies for a comment were unsuccessful as the official in charge was not in office.
When Stabroek News visited the area yesterday, a dragline excavator was seen driving piles and slight vibrations were felt. A worker told Stabroek News that they were aiming to complete the pile driving exercise by last night.
Only last week residents of Duke Street, Kingston complained about the construction of a high-rise building by city businessman Rizwan Khan and the damage they have suffered.
Chief City Engineer Colvern Venture yesterday explained that permission was granted for the construction of the two buildings after the developers/owners provided the necessary documentation.
He stated that before permission could have been given, the developers had to carry out geotechnical assessments and take out insurance policies to cover damage. He further stated that persons nearby the construction sites need to be served with a notice of construction.