Gov’t appeals decision in road work case
The government is asking the Court of Appeal to set aside a Supreme Court order that awarded damages to the Coconut Grove Business League(CGBL)following the conclusion of a judicial review of its decision to make sections of Blue Hill Road and Market Street one-way thoroughfares as part of the New Providence Road Improvement Project.
The government is seeking to have the respondents in the matter–Arnold Heastie, Leana Ingraham and Rupert Roberts Jr.–pay costs in both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
The government contends in court documents that Supreme Court Justice Neville Adderley erred in law in concluding that Minister of Public Works Neko Grant had a duty to consult the business owners regarding the road works and changes.
“There is no legislation requiring consultation with members of a community likely to be specifically affected by an intended development such as the respondents, and both the respondents’pleading and reliance upon an alleged breach of statutory duty under section 17 of the Road Act, were unsustainable,”the notice of appeal said.
It also claimed that Adderley erred in law when he ruled that the minister did not follow the requirements of the law and he wrongly concluded that consultation ought to have taken place regarding the length and route of the detours, the length of time of the works in particular sections, the labor and resources allocated to a particular area, and the placement of barricades.
The appeal also states that Adderley erred in law when he”ruled that the road works in substance constituted a public nuisance which directly contributed to losses, including goodwill, of the respondents(business owners).”
The business owners argued that the changes significantly impacted their businesses in a negative way.
CGBL lawyer Paul Moss toldThe Nassau Guardianthat the business owners will ask the government for up to$10 million in damages for revenue losses incurred as a result of road construction, which began last year.
The CGBL is reportedly comprised of about 50 area businesses.
The government has said the road project-inclusive of the work being done on Blue Hill Road and Market Street-will help alleviate traffic congestion on New Providence.
A court date has not yet been set for the appeal to be heard.