JIS News

Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie has said that the ruling handed down by the Privy Council for the demolition of a building at Auburn Court, 15 South Avenue, has sent a strong signal to all persons that they must get permission to construct any building.
The owner of Auburn Court had constructed a bowling alley and a recreational building without obtaining building or planning permission from the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), and had ignored enforcement notices served on him.
“This is a significant victory for the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation as this is the first time such a matter has been tested at such a high level,” said Mayor McKenzie during a press conference at the KSAC’s downtown offices yesterday (February 23).
“The decision of the Courts, we hope, will send a very strong signal to all private individuals and private entities that the proper procedures must be adhered to at all times – permission must be obtained from the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation before any building construction,” he said.
This ruling, which has been handed down by the UK-based Court, is the result of a long-standing Court battle that began in 1996 between the KSAC and the owner of Auburn Court.
Mayor McKenzie noted that the victory for the KSAC was an encouragement to make the Council “more aggressive against persons who are in violation of the necessary building permits, and that the necessary steps will be taken to demolish any building that is in direct violation of the Building Act and the Planning Act of the KSAC. ”
Commenting on the Court victory, former Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Easton Douglas, who was the Minister at the time when the case began, said that this ruling by the Privy Council had dismissed any argument that the KSAC Building Act and the Town and Country Act “have no teeth. ”
“It is now quite clear that there are teeth and what is required and what has been demonstrated by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation is that what you need is to have the jaws to fight,” he said.
He also commended the Authorities for going all the way, as this move would help to restore the city and to ensure that enforcement is carried out, “so as to prevent people from being nuisances in our communities when they indulge in these nonconforming activities”.
Meanwhile, the Privy Council has also ruled that Auburn Court Limited should pay all legal expenses of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, Privy Council and the cost of the demolition, which according to Town Clerk, Errol Greene could cost in the region of $8 million.

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