Political and social activist attorney-at-law David Comissiong (left), who is challenging the Prime Minister’s decision to grant permission for the construction of the Hyatt Centric Hotel, leaving the Supreme Court Complex with his friend and colleague, attorney-at-law Robert ‘Bobby’ Clarke.
hyatt case continues
SENIOR Counsel Hal Gollop, who is representing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in the controversial Hyatt case, is arguing that political and social activist David Comissiong has no right to challenge Stuart’s decision to grant developer Mark Maloney permission to construct the US$100 million hotel on Bay Street.
This is the latest development in the case which continued yesterday in the Supreme Court, before Madame Justice Sonia Richards.
In addition, Queen’s Counsel Barry Gale, who is representing Maloney’s company Vision Developments Inc., also began to present a similar case, which he will continue next Wednesday August 16 when the matter returns to Court. Following that, Comissiong is expected to present his argument to the court.
“It is a tag team. Mr Gale and Mr Gollop, they are both supporting each other. So, Mr Stuart as the Minister who has granted this permission, and the developer, they are supporting each other in their challenge to my standing,” the attorney-at-law told the media during a brief interview following yesterday’s proceedings.
However, a seemingly confident Comissiong told the media that the facts and the law are considered to be important factors in the case.
Comissiong, who is being supported by his friend and colleague Bobby Clarke, stressed that it does not matter how many lawyers are going up against him, he will be dealing with “the facts and the law” when it is his turn to address the Court.
“We will have a decision from the judge in due course. But I will expect this case to go on and we will ultimately be looking at the merits of the claim that I have brought for Judicial Review.
“My claim is that before any decision could have been legitimately made on this application, it had to be subjected to an environmental impact assessment,” he said.
It was in March that Comissiong went to court to challenge the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning decision not to conduct an environmental impact assessment on the property before granting the developer permission.
An outspoken Comissiong argued that the Prime Minister relied on an outdated Physical Development Plan, which is now 15-years-old and must be updated every five years.
“There is no injunction in place stopping [the construction]. There has never been an injunction in place stopping it.
“What is in place is a challenge to the permission that was granted and a request to the Court that that the Court quash that permission. That is all that is in place at this point in time,” Comissiong said.
Also making an appearance in Court yesterday was Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins.
The hearing started around 11 a.m. and lasted for almost three hours. (AH)