ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHAPA) has strongly defended its position to backfill a pond in the Bathlodge area, in order to expedite plans for a housing development.
In a release, the ministry insisted that the development, inclusive of the construction of roads and proper drainage, will correct the faulty water flow and associated issues.
These have been caused by the presence of the improperly placed man-made pond. The department also insisted that the water catchment was not a natural waterway.
Earlier this week, residents in the area voiced serious concerns about the actions taken by CHAPA, as they claimed it would increase incidents of flooding; would cause further destruction to the remaining passable access road and would also affect wildlife in the area.
The decision taken by CHAPA prompted an investigation into the matter by the Development Control Authority (DCA) and both authorities met on Tuesday to discuss the issue, which led to both bodies visiting the site in question.
CHAPA was accused of not consulting with senior agriculture officials before proceeding with its plans to get the development under way.
The Ministry of Agriculture which has responsibility for both statutory bodies, has maintained that the decision to move forward with the filling of the pond was well thought out and executed.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)