Revisit Chaguaramas Development Plan Emphasis must be placed on adequate access

2015.04.20. Port of Spain. The Alliance of Independents views the recently unveiled Chaguaramas Development Plan as progressing without due appreciation of the attendant sustainability impact, particularly as it refers to the access into and out of the proposed development trajectory.

The AOI is not against the development of the peninsula, however it believes such development must be done in an environment governed by sound logical planning with transparent implementation, and in a fair and equitable manner. The AOI understands that amongst many of the issues being raised of concern include:

· The existing state of the access road between Glencoe and Chaguaramas;
· Alleged arbitrary eviction of legal tenants;
· Issuance of master commercial leases to cover both commercial and residential tenants;
· Dramatic increase in the inflow of workers, visitors and proprietors into the peninsula;

As such, the AOI proposes the following short term measures for the consideration of the National community and the Chaguaramas Development Authority:
· Hold further development until due diligence is placed on the current issues related to access into and out of the peninsula;
· The procurement of fast ferries [catamarans] capable of shuttling 70-80 persons per trip from Port of Spain to Chaguaramas at approx. 30 minute intervals, with the attendant provisions for the parking and security of vehicles on the Port of Spain end of the shuttle service;
· Implement a system of subsidised shuttle buses to transport employees and visitors within the peninsula;
· Whist this short term implementation is in place, Central Government should initiate the development of a new access from Glencoe to Chaguaramas with 4 lanes flowing west and four lanes flowing east. This roadway can become a toll way;
· Repair the existing access road from Tucker Valley to Covigne Road and Brunton Road. Access can also be developed through Bagatelle in Diego Martin;
· Review and study of the 1988 Draft Chaguaramas Development Plan;
· The preparation of mutually agreeable standard leases separated along commercial and residential lines;
· Ensure parliamentary oversight of all issuance of leases, and renewals to ensure national scrutiny.

The AOI understands that development has its implications; however the mitigation of such implications can and must be undertaken in a manner that encompasses historical data, underscored by authentic consultation and collaboration.

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Revisit Chaguaramas Development Plan Emphasis must be placed on adequate access