Negril homes demolished...again

No. 64 Wednesday, March 10, 2010
On Tuesday, March 2 at approximately 12:30 p.m., workmen from the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ), demolished two houses in Whitehall Phase Three, Negril. The HAJ agents were accompanied by four police officers from the Negril police station, led by a senior police officer.

    As all other options have proved unsuccessful, HAJ will soon proceed to demolish these illegal structures and evict the occupants.
    Moments after the team arrived and started their demolition project, a large and very angry mob of home owners from the area staged a protest.
    Witnesses told the Western Mirror that neighbours of the home owners affected, shouted abuse at the workmen while , others used their bodies to slow down the attempted demolition.
    Still others hurled threats and threw stones at the HAJ workmen. With. protestors numbering near 250, according to witnesses, the men were unable to complete the demolition. The police advised it would be too risky to continue.
    In the melee that ensued, the protesters prevented a bulldozer from taking any part in the demolition. "Boss if the tractor did get fi join in a woulda weeping and wailing up yah," an angry protester was reported to have said.
    Donnette Campbell, a mother of two children, had her two room wooden structure totally flattened. Also 79 year­-old Lloyd Brevett OD, a founding member of the legendary Skatalites Band had his three bedroom concrete structure damaged.
    For Campbell, it was only three weeks ago that she relocated to another house in the area after entering into a lease agreement with another man. Brevett was said to have expressed that he loved Negril and wanted to retire there. He had only left the site a few hours before the HAJ moved in to destroy his dream. "Mi can't call mi father and tell him this, it might kill him,",remarked a visibly upset Damion Brevett, son of Lloyd Brevett.
    The community of Whitehall Phase Three is said to be populated with foreigners and locals alike who have spent millions of dollars to build homes. Many, including the Brevetts, said they have made repeated visits and requests from the HAJ to sell them the-land on which their homes are built.
    Some persons say they have been living there for over 10 years. The Western Mirror has been reliably informed that this is not the first time the Whitehall housing settlement has experienced a demolition exercise.
    However, the Housing Agency of Jamaica, according to a press release, stated that on Friday February 22, they were told to carry out a demolition to evict squatters on lands at Whitehall Phase 3 in Negril, Westmoreland.
    Reports are that this property is to be developed with housing solutions for low and middle income purchasers.
    Development is being hampered by the presence of unauthorized persons, who have unlawfully occupied these prime residential lands and constructed buildings, despite numerous warnings to vacate and Notices to Quit.

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