Dec 12 2012: bulldozer loading rubble onto screening machine. *Photo supplied
Dec 12 2012: bulldozer loading rubble onto screening machine. *Photo supplied

BEST as been hearing for months now from neighbours of the Grand Atlantic development that the site is being used by the developer as a staging and processing area for jobs he is doing elsewhere. In addition to the eyesore of the condos, the operations at the site have become a nuisance.

Back in December, neighbours captured a photo of one of the screening machines which they said were working from 8 am until dark, creating dust that spread over the neighbourhood.

Neighbours contend that the developer has a huge fire approx. every 2 weeks. For example in January, neighbours took photos on two consecutive days of open burning of waste on the site generating a plume of black smoke. On January 28th burning of waste started around 9:30 in the morning and continued all through the day. Next day, January 29th, the fire was re-started first thing in the morning. On these two days most of the smoke was blown out to sea, but that's not always the case and residents are concerned that the soot on their roofs is unhealthy.

BEST understands it is highly doubtful that the fires at the Grand Atlantic site were done with the requisite permissions. We have recommended to nearby residents that they should contact the government Department of Environmental Protection immediately when fires are started to verify if the site is permitted to be burning — and at no time should anything other than horticultural waste be burned in such an open fire.

A further problem for neighbours is the trucking of rubble and what they termed "construction spoil" onto and away from the site. On February 5th, for example, neighbours observed "trucks coming and going all day, dumping spoil over the back on the cliff side behind the Rubis gas station."

Residents believe the Department of Planning had instructed the developer to get rid of the piles of rubble on the site. They expressed surprise and dismay to see trucks bringing in more. The trucks have been delivering material all week — possibly from other contractors' job sites.

It is bad enough that the neighbourhood has been hurt by the ill-conceived condo development. It adds insult to injury that what appears to be a construction-processing outift is now operating in the midst of their residential neighbourhood. The residents have suffered from a series of violations at the site and are now calling for stricter enforcement of the Planning laws and regulations. BEST supports that call. 

Regarding the developer’s latest scheme, we remind the public and the government that the permission, via two SDOs eventually allowing the 'affordable housing' at Grand Atlantic, was originally granted for a luxury hotel and upscale housing.

There were predictions at the time  that no hotel would ever be built... and so it has come to pass.  It is difficult to believe that this wasn't the intention right from the start… an orchestration that is now being leaned on to support the developer’s call to build more residential units. The Warwick aesthetic and neighbours have suffered enough, as has the public purse. This project should be halted, once and for all.