A letter posted on Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s Facebook page yesterday appears to show that developers behind the controversial Peace, Love and Happiness project in Barbuda are complying with environmental and other restrictions.
The massive scheme has come under fire from critics who fear the luxury resort’s construction places the sister isle’s fragile ecosystem at risk.
Observer media is still working to independently verify the authenticity of the letter, apparently signed by Chief Town and Country Planner Frederick Southwell.
The July 14 letter states that, having conducted three separate site visits to Palmetto Point in January, February and June 2020, the Development Control Authority (DCA) is satisfied that PLH developers are in “strict compliance with the conditions of approval” along with the environmental impact assessment previously carried out and approved.
The DCA “is satisfied that there has been no breach of any planning permission”, it continues.
The letter, addressed to Barbuda Council Secretary Paul Nedd, also rejects a request for a stop order to be issued on the project, saying it could “find no basis” for such.
It comes despite mounting concerns by Council members and others about the effect on the adjacent RAMSAR-designated Codrington Lagoon, which is deemed to be of international importance and is home to one of the world’s largest colonies of magnificent frigate birds.
Previous documents obtained by Observer relating to the US$250 million development highlight concerns by the Department of Environment that it presents a risk to the entire water system on Barbuda, and human life as well as wildlife and ecosystems.
Barbuda Council members and government officials including Mr Southwell could not be reached on Sunday for additional comment.