Chief Min: Palm Grove road - a
difficult but necessary step
Grove road project was discussed at the sitting of the Legislative Council on 14
December when Chief Minister, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith made a statement and
answered questions on the matter. In the end, Hon. Smith maintained that the
park and the road could coexist. In fact, the Chief Minister announced that a
park would be developed to preserve the cultural significance of Wickham’s Cay:
"We are developing a park to preserve the area and to keep in memory those who
have contributed to the development of the Territory."
to concerns raised by the public, Dr Smith mentioned that Government would try
to prevent the area from becoming a car park by erecting a stonewall to protect
the green grass from harm. The Chief Minister told the Council that Government
plans to put a palm replacement program along with other landscaping techniques
in place to ensure the most aesthetically pleasing outcome.
said that he welcomes the public's input on this project and other important
decisions. At the end of the day, it is the duty of elected leaders to hear the
voice of the people and then to make a choice in a manner consistent with a
sense of the right. With that said, the BVI Leader opined that "development is
also pointed out that "every road that gets paved upturns beautiful green earth,
every piece of land that is reclaimed buries a small part of our pristine sea.
Every home, office, hospital and school that is built causes some disruption to
our natural environment."
afford to allow our desire to preserve our land and seas to paralyze us and make
progress impossible; at the same time we cannot become insensitive to the need
to be responsible to future generations. Striking the right balance is at the
very heart of what this Government seeks to accomplish. The Palm Grove road is a
prime example of this effort. This piece of roadway must be created. It cannot
be otherwise. We cannot in good conscience allow traffic to build and build,
while pedestrians and motorists alike are put in harm's way," the Chief Minister
On a more
personal note Hon. Smith mentioned that he would not be highly thought of by a
mother whose child was injured or killed while walking an unsafe stretch of
road that has no sidewalks or clear pedestrian cross-walks because Government
refused to act -- "I just couldn't do it," Dr. Smith said.
Minister announced that Government would create a roadway and make it safe and
convenient for the people of the BVI. "However, the commitment need not come at
the expense of proper sensitivity to the cultural significance of this piece of
land," Hon. Smith said
Representative of the First District, Hon. Andrew Fahie asked whether the plans
for the bypass road that was expected to pass through the historic site had been
approved by the Land Development Control Authority, and whether Town and Country
Planning Department agreed with the construction, or did they offer other
Leader informed the Representative for the First District that the plans for the
proposed road were delivered to the Town and Country Department on 16 November,
and a more formal application was filed with that Department on 24 November
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