‘Not a housing solution’

Residents of Bannatyne Gardens, Christ Church, are warning potential buyers that the land at Newton Plantation, Christ Church, which is earmarked for housing development may be unsuitable for such.

Randall Banfield, who has lived at Bannatyne for the past 30 years, which is next-door to the proposed development, said the land which he pointed out was listed on a map as “super prime agricultural land” was so because of its ability to retain water.

Pointing to a lush field of sugar cane growing on the land, Banfield said the canes were only planted last October and stood as a testimony to how arable the land was.

“The issue here is that we are taking good agricultural land – one of the maps I saw it was designated as super prime agricultural land – out of production to put into housing which will have a long-lasting and permanent effect.

“This land will never revert to agricultural and food production and we have to be very concerned about food security.”

Resident John Knox, who is a geologist and civil engineer, said he had studied the water tables and underground streams in Barbados.

He and other residents spoke about the severe flooding on the land during rainfall as they recalled having to rescue vehicles which got stuck.

“They could probably mitigate that flow but it will be expensive and not very easy to do,” Knox said, as he pointed out that a well on the opposite side of the road was inadequate to deal with the volume of water which flowed from the land.

The residents further questioned why the developers were not utilising the many acres of neighbouring rab land for the housing project, as they stressed the need to preserve agricultural lands.

“That is a big part of our argument. We understand about housing and what not, but is it necessary when there is so much unused rab land around here to take up the only land that produces anything to convert that into housing?” Banfield asked.

In terms of the housing development in Bannatyne, they pointed out that all of the houses in that area were built on rock which was never utilised for agricultural purpose.

“This is not about Bannatyne. While it may be a piece of land which is a part of Bannatyne, we are concerned about its suitability for housing because it floods very badly and this whole question about converting good agricultural land to housing is a major concern.

“We talk about climate change and we go on the world stage and talk to the big countries about combating climate change, but here we are in Barbados taking land out of agriculture and covering it with concrete and houses and permaclad. It increases the flooding . . .,” Banfield charged, as he referred to a report which spoke about global warming and the effects on small island developing states.

While several residents have submitted individual objections to the Planning & Development Department, Banfield said they were in the process of sending a formal petition objecting to the proposed development.

The Nation team was unable to reach the developers.

The post ‘Not a housing solution’ appeared first on nationnews.com.

Leave a Reply