Hague Housing Scheme Residents Demonstrate Against Stonebrook Vista Sewage Plants
Hague Housing Scheme is located 2 miles outside Falmouth and before the housing explosion in Trelawny, it was Falmouth’s major suburb. Now, there is competition from Florence Hall Village, Stonebrook, Stonebrook Vista and Holland Estate.
These estates require sewage services among other requirements, but what gives one housing estate the right to dump their sewage on a neighboring housing scheme?
3 Sewage Plants in Hague?
That is the dilemma being faced by the Hague Community as developers of the Stonebrook Vista scheme which borders Hague Housing Scheme, have seen it fit to locate not one, not two, but allegedly three sewage plants on their land adjoining the Hague community. Of course, they could be the same plant linked in 3 different locations, but the problem is they are so close, it can be safe to say they are in Hague, although legally it is Stonebrook’ s land.
The first plant was built on a low hill on the border between the two schemes, far away from Stonebrook’s houses, but across the road from Hague houses. The community grumbled but gave surprisingly low keyed acceptance of their fate after they were assured that they would be spared any unpleasant odor. At first, it was as they promised….no odor; then the inevitable intermittent, pungent fumes from the plant carried by the dependable North East Trade Winds started harassing the nostrils of residents in the ‘Old Hague’ area. I visited the area last night and had to hold my breath periodically as the odor became an annoyance. In addition, residents say the waste water from the plant is sent through the wetlands behind the Hague Bus Stop, and this also gives off a bad smell from time to time.
The Stonebrook Vista developers have found a convenient and selfish way to keep their waste from their scheme. The plants are placed away from their scheme, separated by a wall and sitting pretty in another community, taking advantage of the fact that they own land bordering the same community (Hague). Genius!!
Now Hague residents are hearing of 2 more sewage plants, one of which is even closer to the Hague community than the current one. Rightfully, the Hague citizens decided to mount a protest, which they did on Monday at the entrance to the community. The demonstration moved to Stonebrook’s offices and the Stonebrook management promptly announced a meeting with Hague residents scheduled for Monday.
The first sewage plant in Hague Housing Scheme
Who Gave Permission?
What really puzzles me (but I am not surprised), is how on earth the Stonebrook developers could get permission for several sewage facilities to be located almost in Hague? Surely, the Trelawny Parish Council has to give permission. This council is made up of 7, elected by the people to act in the best interest of the people. To make matters worse, Phillip Service, the councillor for the Martha Brae division (in which Hague is located), lives in Hague! Where was/is his voice?
Also puzzling is how the projects were passed by NEPA (National Environmental Protection Agency), the government agency charged with ensuring that projects are environmentally friendly. It does ‘ take a rocket scientist to realize this cannot be environmentally friendly to the citizens of Hague, a scheme that was initially developed over 40 years ago.
What is happening to Hague is punishment for their predictable voting pattern. Hague will vote for the PNP no matter what. The PNP councillors know they do not have to do anything to please the community as no matter what, their votes are assured. As a result, the councillors can turn to pleasing powerful, rich external interests. They know that the voters will still turn out and vote for them each and every election. The voters interests can therefore be placed last. The councillors have nothing to lose.
Trelawny Parish Council
The opposition JLP councillors in the Trelawny Parish Council bear as much blame. When the first sewage project was given the go-ahead, there were 4 JLP councillors to 3 PNP. Now, since the council is democratic, for major decisions like this, there would have to be a winner by majority vote. How could the project go through without the JLP councillors agreement? Impossible.
Questions to Ask Politicians
This tells us what we should already have known, that these people don’ t care about us. Where are the people we voted to represent us? Our votes are simply stepping stones to their careers and seats of power. As we await the meeting on Monday, there are several questions that we need to ask our elected political representatives. How could they allow this to happen? Why is the need of the developer of Stonebrook more important than the needs of an entire existing community (one that has been around for over 4 decades)? Aren’t they aware that this will depress property values in Hague, while preserving values in Stonebrook Vista (which is a brand new community)? Aren’t they aware that people voted for them to look out for the best interest of their communities?
Even the blind can see that the politicians do no care about us. Allowing a development like this to dump sewage on an existing community shows scant regard for the needs and rights of Hague’s entire population and justifies my decision not to vote in the recent local government election. How could I vote for a system (both parties are guilty) that dumps sewage on my community from a neighboring housing estate and dumps (pun intended) a former squatter settlement near the other side? When it comes to politics and our family, community and country, we need to make decisions with our minds and not our hearts. Let’s hope we get something out of that meeting on Monday!
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