By Steve Thomas

Observer Nevis Editor

(Charlestown, Nevis) – A period of public comment and examination of a draft environmental impact plan went well for the group planning a major development on Nevis, according to the project manager.

“It was very, very good. We had 128 people. It was useful feedback and help from the public,” Mark Hood, project manager for Pinney’s Estate Development, said.

The public comment period was held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the firm’s office in downtown Charlestown.

The development’s plans include a resort, retail space, commercial space and residences. It’s to be built north of Charlestown and south of the Four Seasons Resort.

Pinney’s Estate has a price tag of USD$400 million with a construction schedule stretching over 10 years.

In a statement from the company, Mr. Hood detailed the results of the public review:

– 24 people returned questionnaires which we are currently analyzing for the Final EIA submission.

-Of the 24 questionaires, 57 percent supported the development, 19 percent did not, 24 percent were undecided.

Key issues for the public were:

-Opportunities: employment opportunities in construction and operation of the Resort including commercial retail space in the Newfound Village part of the Resort, public trail access to the Resort particularly the historical sites, tourism / local investment benefiting Nevisions.

Main Concerns: Type of Architecture – we plan to have a mixture of traditional and contemporary.

High density – there are 322 villas planned but at 0.8 acres per plot, density is not high.

Standard of Resort – This will be a top class resort.

Beach access – beaches are public property and access will not be impaired.

Demand for water – Government are seeking new sources of water by drilling new wells. Resort will harvest rainwater and collect in cisterns and will recycle waste-water.

Demand for Electricity – Government are seeking sustainable sources of power through geothermal plants. Resort will use solar energy and other energy efficient designs.

Foreign Contractors / workers – Nevis does not have sufficient for a Resort of this magnitude.

Social impacts of foreign workers – will try to maintain a separate workers’ camp.

Environmental – gutts will be maintained. Natural vegetation, important trees will be kept as far as possible.

Solid waste – plans to separate waste; glass, metals, compost, etc for recycling.

Marine life – this has been studied and measures will be put in place to protect the marine environment.

Protect beach from further erosion – looking at beach protection and nourishment.

Bees and bird life – looking at designating an area to bees and local honey production.