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JIS News

Mayor of Morant Bay St. Thomas, Hanif Brown, has said that the Parish Council, would be enforcing the building code regulations, in an effort to ensure that persons do not build close to the coastline.
At the same time, the Mayor said there should be dialogue with persons to leave their houses, which are built near the sea.
“There is definitely need for dialogue and the strict enforcement,” Mayor Brown stressed, in an interview with JIS News.
He cited several areas, including Morant Bay, Seaforth and some sections in Bath, where persons have built close to the sea. He noted too, that in some areas the sea had eroded the land, rendering them very close to the seashore.
“Thirty years ago, the sea was about half a mile out. Erosion has led to the present situation,” he said. Mr. Brown added that community based organisations in the parish would have to be strengthened, so that they could assist in getting the message across to citizens.
He emphasised that to ensure that persons no longer make the excuse “that they do not know, you force them to know what the building regulations require,” adding that some persons try to evade the Parish Council, by erecting their houses overnight.
The Mayor said the Council would have to accelerate its efforts in getting persons to adhere to the regulations. “If you are not consistent with what you are doing and show guts and determination and willingness to take the fight to those who find pleasure in breaking the regulations, then you are not going to be counted,” he said.
While stressing that persons should not build close to the sea, the Mayor said that some provision must be made for them to afford housing.
“There needs to be proper planning and streamlining. There are lands in St. Thomas, but you have to have money to buy them and some of the lands have gone out of the reach of the little people,” he said.