Jun 06, 2019 News
An Eccles homeowner, who in 2013 believed that he had found a good deal with a new home in Eccles, East Bank Demerara, is now ruing his decision.
From since 2015, he has been battling the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) in a case that has highlighted the stark problems of zoning in the country.
CH&PA has since admitted that zoning is a problem it is battling with.
Wahabudeen Imran said that his property has suffered flood damage and his holiday and retirement home has now become a bad investment because of the noise from the mill.
He explained that in 2013, he came back here from the British Virgin Islands, where he and his family lived and worked. He applied for a property.
He did not want to return to Essequibo from where he hailed because of the distance.
He was offered one home by the CH&PA for over $14M at Eccles at what is known as “Young Professionals Housing Scheme”.
Imran’s headaches began then. He not only had to wait months for his home, but it came with defects which have not been fixed despite complaints.
He said when he purchased the property, it had a reserve and trench at the back for drainage.
The new scheme was just behind the Eccles Industrial Site.
He said that he came back and found the reserve taken over and a smaller drain built.
The noise of the mill became intolerable also.
There were a number of cracks on his house. The cracks can be blamed on vibrations.
“The filling of the trench and taking over of the reserve has upset the drainage. My yard is being flooded as soon as the rain falls because the drain they built is too small to take the water.”
Becoming frustrated, in September 2015, Imran wrote the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission to launch a probe.
However, the GLSC referred the matter to Housing saying that the matter falls within their jurisdiction.
In July 2018, the homeowner wrote CH&PA which admitted that it had granted permission to Techno Mills Guyana to occupy the reserve for storage of grains for a definite period up to 2021.
The CH&PA’s Chief Executive Officer, Lelon Saul, noted in his letter in keeping with the principles of good Town and Country Planning, residential zones should not be adjacent to industrial areas, unless there is adequate and appropriate buffer zones.
“Lamentably, this principle was not adhered to, perhaps due to the “fog” of political expediency.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, we are committed to working with Techno Mills Guyana Inc., and other stakeholders to ease” the discomfort, Saul explained.
However, Imran wrote the CH&PA insisting that the buffer zone was not adequate or appropriate.
“Notwithstanding the aforementioned, I do wish you and your team would exercise consistency in executing your duties and adhere to your principles of good Town and Country Planning and not let a fog of political expediency hamper your abilities to serve the people of your country with pride and honour.”
He said that his next door neighbours have rented their homes and are not around to experience the discomfort.
The case of Imran mirrors a growing problem of proper planning and lack of zoning across the country.
In the case of Imran, he was sold a property that was right behind the industrial site, his property separated by a small reserve.
In the city and elsewhere, there have been complaints of spray paint shops, noise from car wash and bars and other major nuisances.
In recent times, there was a major objection from residents of Queenstown over a planned project for a casino and hotel on South Road.
There have been many such instances.
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