Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, says the Committee that investigated the collapse at the Blue Diamond Royalton hotel site in Negril, Hanover, has recommended the lifting of a Stop Order on sections of the project found to be structurally sound, once the developers provide a written commitment to comply with the building code.
The Minister revealed that the Committee also recommended that the developers address 12 specific issues at the project site before any order is given for work to proceed on the section of the building that collapsed. “They (Royalton) have to accept and give timelines as to how they will adhere to the recommendations of the Committee.”
The Minister was speaking at a special sitting of the Hanover Parish Council yesterday, at which he discussed the findings of the review Report prior to a meeting with the developers of the hotel.
On May 10, the Council issued a 30-day Stop Order on construction at the site after a section of the building collapsed, injuring five workers. At that time, Minister McKenzie had commissioned a three-man team, comprising the CEO of the National Works Agency, the City Engineer at the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation and the Chief Technical Director at the Local Government Ministry, to review the circumstances leading to the incident.
The Minister says the Committee found that that all the buildings, except the one that collapsed, were structurally sound. He also said that while the Hanover Parish Council was cleared of any missteps in granting the approvals for the construction, it had not performed creditably in monitoring the works to ensure compliance. “Ninety-eight conditions were handed down by the Council… But if that site was being monitored as it ought to, then what took place could have been avoided.”
Minister McKenzie also disclosed that the Committee found that the technical capacity of the Council’s Building Department should be strengthened, through the employment of two new Building Officers.