NEPA to suspend cemetery expansion permit

NEPA to suspend cemetery expansion permit

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

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THE National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) yesterday served notice of its intention to suspend a permit for the establishment of a cemetery at Bendon Pen, St Catherine, granted to the company that manages Dovecot Memorial Park.

The environmental regulator, in a letter addressed to Kumanda Park Limited, said the suspension will remain in force until there is a cessation of all breaches being conducted under the terms of the permit.

The proposed project is an expansion of Dovecot Memorial Park and Crematorium on St Johns Road in St Catherine.

It was not clear from the letter shown to the Jamaica Observer what were the breaches outlined by NEPA. However, residents of neighbouring communities to Dovecot, at a meeting last week, raised concerns about contamination of their water supply, dust from the expansion work that had already started, as well as the poor behaviour and improper attire of people attending funerals.

Last week's meeting was a fresh attempt to convince homeowners in the communities that there was a need for expansion of the burial grounds. The residents, though, rejected the plan.

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) submitted to NEPA by CL Environmental Ltd in 2014 stated that it had become critical to expand Dovecot Memorial Gardens as the current area used for burials has run out of space.

“Customers are complaining that due to the limited space available they are not able to choose a location that they deem ideal for their loved ones, and funerals are too close together in proximity,” the EIA said.

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