By Monique Washington
The High Court in Nevis has handed down another decision in the case of Anne Bass vs. The Director of Physical Planning citing some actions taken by the department had been unlawful.
The case between Bass and the Director of Physical Planning began in 2015 when the $20 million Candy Resort in Liburd Hill Nevis began construction.
Ms. Bass’s attorneys maintained that the Government’s department acted without jurisdiction when they decided in April 22, 2015 to deny her application and grant permission to Caribbean Development Consultant Ltd. to construct Candy Resort Villa Development without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the materially revised plans, as required by law and their decision should be made null because of their failure to examine and take into account the Environmental Impact Assessment.
The lawsuit alleges that the Candy Development was approved without a complete and proper EIA.
According to part of the judgement “A Declaration that the actions of the Director of Physical Planning whereby he exercises his own discretion in not allowing the members of the public to view and take copies of documents forming an application for development of land are unlawful” the official judgement states.
Through information received from one of Bass’s attorneys the recent high court decision “is separate , but is related” to the case on January 25 2017.
“After a trial, finding that the Director of Physical Planning unlawfully withheld documents related to the Candy Resort Development from Mrs. Bass.
‘The court ruled that under the Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control Ordinance all members of the public have the right to access documents related to applications for development and approved developments in Nevis during normal business hours.
“This right of access includes the right to see the application, plans related to the application, and any EIAs; and to make copies of such documents,” the statement read.
According to the statement the court ordered the DPP to provide Mrs. Bass with these EIA.
“Another important precedent for the benefit of all Nevisians and residents of Nevis was established in this case.
“Mrs. Bass stated that she intends to pursue her legal remedies to the full extent allowed under the law.”
The statement further alleges that “The Nevis Island Administration and the Department of Physical Planning approved this Coral Reef Restoration (a project undertaken by Bass) project two months prior to approving the Candy Resort. Yet, as Mrs. Bass intends to prove at trial, the Candy Resort threatens the viability of the Coral Reef Restoration project due to its adverse environmental impacts, particularly erosion, inadequate treatment of sewage, and surface drainage”.
High Court Judge Her Ladyship Lorraine Williams rendered the official judgement, Bass was represented by Garth Wilkin while Rhonda Nisbett Browne and Kimberly Hanley Bello represented the DPP.