Prime Minister Andrew Holness says a full report will be brought to the public in short order on the matter of the Bernard Lodge housing development.
The Prime Minister’s statement came today (August 30) during his address at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Twickenham Glades Phase 4 development in St. Catherine.
Prime Minister Holness, said that he has directed the Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz to provide the public with a full report on what is being discussed on the matter.
“The reports that I’ve gotten so far have suggested that provisions have been made within the acreage that is available to accommodate the farmers that are there, and indeed if you look at the entire development a large part of it will still remain in agriculture. I’ve asked Minister Vaz to prepare a full report now to bring to the public so that the public can get the information. Much of what is being discussed, is creating a narrative without having the full information so that the public can genuinely make a decision,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
Earlier this year, concerns were raised by farmers about farmlands that fall inside the area categorised as Block C in the development area which was purchased by a holding company. The Prime Minister asserted that there has to be far greater and in-depth studies done on the problem so that the Government can make decisions empirically.
“I’ve seen where it has been said that Bernard lodge is going to be the new city. I’ve not described Bernard Lodge as the new city. The Bernard Lodge development will be a new township. It will expand the Portmore development but it won’t be technically classified as a city because for an area to be classified as a city, there are some amenities and buildings and features that must be in place and those will not be in place at Bernard Lodge at least not in its initial development,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Bernard Lodge development is expected to have seventeen thousand houses with a mix of light industrial and agricultural holdings and social amenities in what is expected to be the most technologically advanced township that Jamaica will see.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness underscored that while the Bernard Lodge development will be a new town, the Government is doing work to determine where the third city could be in Jamaica.