Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has announced that some 800 housing lots are to be developed in the White Hall Phase 2 Housing Scheme, Negril, Westmoreland.
The Minister said that the project will cost about $300 million and will be for low income earners.
The announcement was made during a meeting with the Chairman and representatives of the Negril/Green Island Area Local Planning Authority, and Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, at the Negril Craft Market on Friday (December 11).
Speaking with JIS News after a comprehensive tour of the areas regarded as ‘squatter settlements’, Dr. Chang said that regularisation has become urgent, in order to preserve Negril as a prime tourist area.
Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (left) responding to questions, as Chairman of the Negril/Green Island Area Local Planning Authority, Russell Hammond (right) makes a contribution to discussions. at a meeting at the Negril Craft market on Friday (December 11) regarding the squatter settlement at Nonpariel Road and White Hall in Negril Westmoreland. Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, Dr. Wykeham McNeil, looks on at centre.
“The tour today highlighted the urgency of getting the area organised, arresting the growing informal development and putting in place the appropriate settlement solutions for both the low income and potential home owners who want to live in Negril,” he said.
“We have, during our tour, looked at White Hall and, clearly, there needs to be some more organisation of the overall living conditions up there. I think that the challenge will be to find the appropriate settlement for all the informal settlers, especially those who will not be able to afford the new Greenfield lots,” he stated.
He also observed that adequate land space was available, but that the necessary steps would have to be taken to organise it properly to support and enhance the town.
“Negril evolved out of a very informal situation many years ago as individuals discovered the place, so it just evolved rather than planned. We are therefore in the process of regularising the whole settlement, and would wish for the necessary levels of co-operation from residents,” Dr. Chang suggested.
He said that much work has been done for the area, in terms of planning and organisation. The initial move will be to ensure that White Hall Phase 2 is completed and Phase 3 begins and, in the process, identify lands for the workers who cannot afford the high price of other developments.
“While we are doing all of that, we can plan for future development in respects of the land,” the Minister pointed out.