JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Details of the master plan for the Greater Bernard Lodge Development in St. Catherine are being finalised.
  • Urban Planner, Martin Addington, said establishment of the water and sewerage infrastructure and the allocation of remaining blocks of land to interested private developers, are among the areas being firmed up.
  • “A competitive tendering process will begin for the land development in short order,” he told JIS News during a media sensitisation and tour of the areas to be developed under the project on February 22.

Details of the master plan for the Greater Bernard Lodge Development in St. Catherine are being finalised.

Urban Planner, Martin Addington, said establishment of the water and sewerage infrastructure and the allocation of remaining blocks of land to interested private developers, are among the areas being firmed up.

“A competitive tendering process will begin for the land development in short order,” he told JIS News during a media sensitisation and tour of the areas to be developed under the project on February 22.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in March 2018, announced that Cabinet has approved the Bernard Lodge Land Use Master Plan for the development of a new town in the area once dedicated to sugar-cane farming and sugar manufacture.

The development includes the provision of shared infrastructure services, residential housing, commercial offices and light industrial operations.

The Greater Bernard Lodge Development is situated on roughly 4,677 acres of land and falls between the Spanish Town and Portmore urban areas.

Mr. Addington noted that the project area is bordered by the Lakes Pen main road to the north, Portmore Municipal Boulevard and Caribbean Estates to the south, and Phoenix Park and the Dunbeholden Road to the west.

Approximately 2,338.5 acres will be used for the construction of 17,000 houses, and establishment of light manufacturing plants and agro-processing facilities. Social services such as schools and health facilities are included.

The remaining 2,338.5 acres of land space will be placed into agriculture with existing irrigation facilities relocated and established in this zone. Markets will also be set up.

In an interview with JIS News during the tour, Chairman of the Enterprise Team formed to lead the Bernard Lodge master plan, Joseph Shoucair, said the overarching aim is to have an integrated development with “farming, manufacturing, light industry and housing”.

“It will not only provide accommodations but it will move away from the dormitory concept, which exists in Portmore where everybody sleeps there but works in Kingston and Spanish Town. So you would have people who live here (in the Bernard Lodge Development) but also work there,” he noted.

Mr. Shoucair informed that there are 122 leases for land in the area, and people occupying those parcels will be compensated and some relocated.

“We are putting them (farmers with agriculture leases) in an area that will be dedicated to farming. Those people who are squatting will be compensated too for growing crops or relocated,” he said.

The touring party, led by Mr. Shoucair, visited lands located at the now defunct Bernard Lodge sugar factory as well as those lands located along the Lakes Pen main road.