Mahogany Hill Affordable Eco-Village latest news!

Craig Hartwell
CEO

& Project Lead

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Hello everyone!
First of all may I take this opportunity to wish you all good health and mental and spiritual strength in these trying times. I am fully vaccinated and now feel much more confident about Covid, at the same time understanding how tough it has been for all of us. So as we ease out of lockdown and realising that the troubles are not yet completely over, spare a thought if you can for those in less well-off countries who have not yet had the reassurance of vaccine roll out, and whose difficulties are still very much current and dangerously real.

Coronavirus update
We have spoken before about Jamaica and the coronavirus, and in general in comparison Jamaica had it quite lightly in 2020. This was mirrored by our own terrific advancements in the project in 2020, almost not missing a beat. 2021 has been a time however of frustrations, with work-from-home rules applying now in Jamaica and the general catch-up being felt by us all. I estimate we have lost about 6 months due to the pandemic, mostly in easing the project through planning queries and professional service restrictions. I’m pleased to say we have now put to bed these issues and today (June 8th 2021 as I write) the planning authorities at last are voting to accept our latest suggested amendments, and so we move on!

Where is the project now and what is next?
We received penultimate planning approval in January 2021, however when we came to sign the documents, they contained several written errors and also 3 important items needing clarification: number of road access points, distance of houses from power lines, and confirmation of the previous zoning approval. We felt we could not sign the approval as written, and so began the negotiation of redrafting which was completed last week, signed and submitted. Now the government must countersign the approval, after which we submit the final planning application which has been languishing in a vault in 25 ‘books’ of documents since Easter. On the plus side this delay has given us plenty of time to review our final submission which includes all the complex land drainage blueprints, fire access points, water in/sewage out pipe network, natural reed bed sewage treatment plant designs, water storage facilities, road layouts, access/ingress/egress points… and so on! Special praise must go out to Lise Walter our esteemed Civil Engineer for completing a marvelous tour-de-force of design, and our Lead Architect Doris Gross who has proved once again to be a limitless fountain of talent, adding ‘diplomat’ to all her professional skills in 2021! Well done both!

Next steps: 1. Countersign the penultimate planning approval; 2. Submit the final planning application (expected return 7-9 months);
3. Create a ‘Bill of Quantities’ to prepare the construction and infrastructure tender; 4. Holiday!

Doris Gross
Lead Architect

Jamaica’s foremost affordable homes architect

12,000 affordable homes in 12 large developments built over 20 years

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Business Director

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