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Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding last week told the House of Representatives that the cost of the proposed relocation of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) headquarters to Caymanas, must be private sector driven and be of minimal, or no cost, to the Government.
“This is not something that I have any intention whatsoever of visiting on the budget, and therefore the concept is being developed in such a way that it must be private sector driven, private sector financed and it must yield sufficient to the government that will enable us to finance the relocation of JDF,” Mr. Golding stated.
Noting that the proposal to relocate the JDF garrison had come from the military itself, the Prime Minister noted that the current layout, structures and facilities at Up Park Camp were not appropriate for a modern military base.
“The JDF headquarters is in urgent need of reconstruction. An issue that had to be addressed, therefore, is whether substantial parts of these facilities should be demolished and rebuilt at the present site, or a greenfield approach be adopted for providing appropriate facilities for the JDF,” he stated. Mr. Golding said the cost of relocating the facilities would be met from income derived from the divestment of the Up Park Camp lands to commercial investors. The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is anchoring the project, which is expected to be in design phase for another year. The JDF, which has occupied Up Park Camp for the past 200 years, is currently already in possession of 4,000 acres in Caymanas, St. Catherine.