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Govt. may owe millions to businesses

The government may have to pay out millions of dollars in compensation to almost 50 businesses in the Blue Hill Road and Market Street areas as a result of a Supreme Court ruling yesterday awarding damages to the Coconut Grove Business League(CGBL).

The CGBL sought a judicial review in March of the government’s decision to make sections of Blue Hill Road and Market Street one-way thoroughfares as part of the New Providence Road Improvement Project(NPRIP).

The CGBL argued that the changes significantly reduced commerce in the area.

It was alleged that some area businesses, such as Super Value food store, reportedly suffered sales decreases as much as 80 percent as a result of the work.

The ruling by Justice Neville Adderley, which has not yet been publicly released, found that Minister of Works and Transport Neko Grant erred when he did not consult with area businesses as to how they would be affected by the changes before work began.

Attorney General John Delaney represented Grant.

He argued that the judicial review should be thrown out, because the specifics of the NPRIP were announced more than a decade ago. Adderley rejected that argument.

He also ordered that costs be payed to the CGBL’s legal team, which was headed by attorneys Maurice Glinton and Paul Moss.

While Adderley did not order the government to consult with the CGBL as to how it could better accommodate area businesses as a result of the work, he strongly suggested it.

CGBL spokesperson Ethric Bowe said the businesses in the league will now have to assess the amount of money they have lost and submit a figure to the court.

The government has argued that the NPRIP inclusive of the work being done on Blue Hill Road and Market Street will help alleviate traffic congestion on New Providence.

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