NOTICE – Public Input Required on Proposed Modification of Montserrat’s Physical Development Plan

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The Physical Planning Unit (PPU) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment (MALHE) is seeking public input on proposed modification to the ‘Physical Development Plan for North Montserrat 2012-2022’.
The zoning of lands in Upper Belham and Fort Ghaut in the Plymouth area to allow for sand mining.
In keeping with Section 7 of the Physical Planning Act which guides the procedure for revision and modification of the Approved Development Plan, public consultation is required on this matter. This is to ensure that residents of the immediate and surrounding areas, stakeholders, and all interested parties are (i) aware of the proposal, and (ii) allowed the opportunity to provide feedback on, and raise any related concerns or issues they may have. The concerns of the public will be taken into consideration.

View the proposed changes here…

Modification to the Approved Physical Development Plan Belham

Modification to the Approved Physical Development Plan 2012 – 2022 – Proposed Sand Mining in the Fort Ghaut (Draft for Discussion)

The PPU has also published the information at the following locations:
– The Montserrat Public Library
– The Government of Montserrat website
– ZJB Radio
Government Information Unit Facebook page
Discover Montserrat
– Physical Planning Unit website: ppu.gov.ms

All comments should be received by 31st August, 2020.

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4 Responses

  1. Pamela Fulford, Resident of Old Towne says:

    Comments on the Modifications to the Physical Development Plan Belham Valley:

    Belham Valley residents have long suffered incessantly loud industrial clanking and crunching,day-long dust and disappointing illegal mining incursions down the valley. For many years, we have suffered huge dumptrucks dangerously speeding through our residential streets. Huge ponds have been dug by the miners in the lower Belham Valley creating unsafe, mosquito infested areas.

    The Belham Valley sand that was approved to be mined in the original approved PDP is now depleted, as stated in your July reports. Give Belham Valley residents a break and leave this once beautiful valley that now resembles the face of Mars. Further digging up an additional 30 acres up the Belham Valley will add insult to injury, injury that the Belham Valley residents will continue to suffer over the next decade. Trust has been broken and we do not believe the miners will follow Government laws or regulations in or adjacent to residential areas, environmentally significant areas or protective buffers.

    All future sand mining activities should be located in properly zoned industrial areas, far from current residential, commercial or environmentally significant areas. Further mining in the Belham Valley should not be allowed.

  2. Dr Chris Lee says:

    Excellent point

  3. Jeremy Thorn says:

    The Belham Valley is a residential area and residents bought their homes without the expectation of heavy industrial activity. Sand mining in my personal experience results in the roar of loud diesel engines, clanking, crunching, dust and large dumptrucks on residential streets. Ponds left by miners in the lower Belham Valley in the past created mosquito-breeding habitat. Sand mining is a deterrent to visitors from abroad who spend significant amounts during their time on Montserrat.

    Residential areas should be separated from commercial areas in keeping with good community/urban planning practices. The proposed buffer area is inadequate for this purpose. At a bare minimum, the eastern boundary of the buffer zone should be moved further eastward to a point on the Belham River where the boundary between the conservation area and the Garibaldi housing development runs down to the river. People on Garibaldi Hill, in Isles Bay Plantation, Happy Hill, Friths and in the condominiums (that we hope will be rebuilt) deserve to have a place where they can quietly enjoy home life and the natural beauty of this area.

    In a similar vein, no extraction should occur on Isles Bay Beach below the bluff, immediately below Garibaldi residences.

    A complete ban on sand mining throughout all the Belham Valley would protect residents’ interests better than just enlarging the buffer area, but I recognize that sand mining and other initiatives (perhaps Government-supported solar panel installation on dwellings to reduce citizens’ electricity costs) can provide employment that is needed on the island until tourism rebounds.

    For greater clarity, the larger buffer zone that is necessary to protect the residential area is shown on a map which I will send to the PPU at ppu@gov.ms, along with a copy of this comment.

    Broadly, it is my opinion that NO further mining in the Belham Valley should be allowed, but I recognize the political reality and therefore put forward this compromise.

    Jeremy Thorn
    Old Towne

  4. Jeremy Thorn says:

    This follows up my original posting. I misread the map, thinking the point I proposed was ABOVE the old Belham Bridge, but I was mistaken. I meant to say, ‘At a bare minimum, the eastern boundary of the buffer zone should be moved further eastward to a point on the Belham River up past the old Belham Bridge to where the boundary between the condominiums and the conservation area runs down toward the river

    Jeremy Thorn
    Old Towne

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