State Minister Proposes Using Mined-Out Bauxite Land for Township Development


The Ministry of Energy and Mining is proposing the creation of a comprehensive township development plan, incorporating the use of rehabilitated mined-out bauxite lands.
State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Laurence Broderick, in his contribution to the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday (July 21), said that the move would help to address the demand for housing solutions, especially along the island’s north coast.
“We must now develop a comprehensive township development plan and this can be facilitated by the Bauxite Land Management Committee, which will bring together all the agencies that are relevant to the planning and development process,” he stated.
These agencies include: the Forestry Department; the Ministries of Water and Housing, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Transport and Works; National Land Agency; National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA); parish councils; and other relevant planning authorities, he stated.
He informed that the Ministry is currently contemplating a pilot, which will take into account existing and new infrastructure.
According to the State Minister, bauxite and alumina companies have, traditionally, used bauxite lands to provide settlement lots, worker housing and community facilities.
He informed that companies such as West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO), and its predecessor, ALCAN, have developed several hectares of mined-out land for re-settlement and worker housing subdivisions at Russell Place Meadows and Russell Place Gardens in Manchester, and Unity Valley/Happy Content in St. Ann.
Similarly, he said, Alumina Partners (ALPART) has resettled persons on mined-out lands in Manchester and St. Elizabeth, while 30 per cent of the recently rehabilitated lands owned by St. Ann Bauxite Limited, have been used for resettlement at Hyde Park, Hawkhurst, Friendship, and Rosetta.
Mr. Broderick informed that consistent with Government’s policy of sequential land use, some 1,263 hectares of mined-out lands near Mandeville, Manchester, have been transferred to the Commissioner of Lands. “This could facilitate the expansion of the town and create opportunities for housing development in areas such as New Hall, Barossa, Mount Nelson, and Albion,” he pointed out.
Noting that the extent of hotel development between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, has brought with it an urgent need for approximately 30,000 worker-housing units, he said that some of this demand could be met by developing rehabilitated mined-out lands located in areas of St. Ann such as Hopewell, Bridgewater, and Berrydale.
Mr. Broderick expressed confidence that speeding up the development of mined-out lands as well as making lands available to workers displaced by the scaling down of operations at three of the island’s bauxite plants, would offer “new opportunities to Jamaicans, who have been denied access to lands.”

JIS Social