The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) on Friday, was back before Honorable Justice Hafiz in Belize’s Supreme Court where they were contesting a claim against Dave Mitchell and Grand Belizean Estates.
ACCSD’s claim #775 of 2009 is for:
a) An injunction to restrain the defendants from unlawfully cutting mangrove, dredging, mining or building a road without specific lawful permission.
b) Causing significant environmental harm to the area without the properly issued permit from the duly authorized lawful authority.
c) Damages for unlawful interference with the use and enjoyment of property with the public domain.
ACCSD is being legally represented by Sharon Pitts Robateu and their claim stems from the construction of the East – West Road from Mata Grande to Colonia San Diego. The defendant’s legal counsel requested that the claim be rejected citing that they had been engaged by the San Pedro Town Council to build the road and had, furthermore, discontinued construction of the road.
As a result of the defendant including the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) in the reasons for rejecting the claim, the Honorable Justice ruled that the SPTC be joined in the action as a party to the Claim.
According to Mayor of San Pedro Town, Elsa Paz, the SPTC has all the legal paperwork and permits (applied for by SPTC) to construct the road which, to date, has reached over 90% completion. Completion of the road includes the construction of the bridge. Mayor Paz explained that the ACCSD had requested a copy of the plans which was submitted to the Ministry of Works and approved. “From Friday, we have been waiting to see what the ACCSD’s next move would be. The SPTC has its attorney ready to fight an injunction,” she stated.
Through their press release, the ACCSD explains that their “stance from the beginning has been that the road and all other developments must be built according to the laws of the country of Belize so that development continues in a sustainable way. The ACCSD believes it is working in the best interests of all island residents especially those who own lots in the Colonial San Diego and Ambergris Bay area. A road constructed without plans or adhering to the Ministry of Works and Department of the Environment guidelines and permits will not be the best road possible for the residents, the island or the environment and will likely be impassible within a very short time.”
Ending the press release ACCSD stated that “on behalf of the ACCSD Sharon Pitts suggested that the three groups meet as soon as possible to start to consider a resolution of the matter in compliance with the laws of Belize. This was agreed to by Nigel E Banks lawyer for the defense.”
The Claim is ongoing.