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Mar 4, 2020

D.O.E. Halts Construction of Gas Station in Belmopan

Dr. Percival Cho

In February, the People’s United Party condemned the decision of Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle and his City Council to approve the construction of a gas station immediately in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School on four parcels of prime land designated as a green area. Residents of the area and parents at the school expressed their concerns regarding the approved construction given its proximity to the primary school. According to C.E.O. in the Ministry of Environment, Doctor Percival Cho, in 2018 the plan was not approved but in 2019, it was. Since the news broke, Doctor Cho says that the ministry has retracted the permit.

 

On the Phone: Dr. Percival Cho, C.E.O., Ministry of Environment

“Last week I managed to again I had a chance to independently look at the situation by reviewing the file and in that scenario DOE had initially not granted clearance for that operation and then a few months later went ahead and gave clearance. So there was a discussion around that and on advice of legal counsel a letter was prepared to retract or correct the error that was made and to retract the clearance. I have seen a draft of the letter today and so that should be going out anytime now. The initial determination for the department as seen on the file is that the development cannot proceed based on the fact that it is adjacent to a school and a church. Unless that situation changes and it has not, the school and the church is still there and will continue to still remain adjacent to that proposed area, then the permission cannot be granted now or in the future because it’s against the guidelines and the DOE established for such service stations within communities.”


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