No permission for Emerald Sound signs
Meantime, the Department of Planning says it has initiated action to remove the two dozen signs posted along South Sound Road, denouncing the Emerald Sound project and its accompanying canals and ocean channel.
“The signs on the side of the road do not have planning permission,” Director of Planning Haroon Pandohie told iNews, “and we cannot have them there.
“We will contact the land owners and tell them they either have to remove the signs or we will take the next step.” he said.
If owners decline to take down the signs, most of them approximately four square feet, their names and addresses will be forwarded to the Central Planning Authority (CPA), which, Mr Pandohie said, will issue orders to remove them.
Failure to comply could result in a series of summonses and fines.
“We have already started the process,” he said, ”and have already received plenty of calls [about the signs]. We will contact the parties and explain the situation.”
The process could take a week or more, but officials had not yet approached the authority” “not yet,” Mr Pandohie said.
Meanwhile, Katrina Jurn, a member of the ProtectSouthSound group, was unaware of Department of Planning approaches to any of the approximately 200 members of the body, but said the creation of the opposition billboards had been “a community effort”.
“The South Sound community collectively decided there were appropriate measures to take to show its position,” she said, but declined to comment further on the subject.
Another member of the group, however, asking anonymity, said previous experience indicated planning officials would have balked at giving a go-ahead.
“We would not have got permission if we had applied,” he said, “and would have had to wait till 17 August just to get a hearing.”
On 3 August, the CPA heard arguments about the 90-acre, 81-home canal-side development near Red Bay Dock on South Sound Road, proposed by RC Estates’ Rene Hislop and architect Burns Conolly.
Opponents fear the area will be subject to flooding, drainage issues and pollution. The proposed 80-foot inland shift of South Sound Road, while creating bicycle and jogging paths, will also increase both local traffic and the value of the 22 Hislop-owned seaside lots.
On 4 August, the CPA approved the development, renewing opposition sentiment.
“This opposition is not at all dying,” Ms Jurn said. “What seems to have happened is that people had reckoned that Emerald Sound would not be passed, but suddenly, when it was, a lot of people were shocked and are now on board [with us]. We are definitely moving ahead, and it may be a long process.”
ProtectSouthSound had broken into five subcommittees, dominated by legal, fund-raising and petition groups. The latter, she said, hoped to gain 500 signatures that could be presented within 14 days of the CPA decision to the Appeals Tribunal.
Like personal approaches to Cabinet, Ms Jurn said “we have a lot of confidence that they will make a decision in the best interests of the country, not just in the interests of the construction industry.”