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Dec 10, 2021

Waterloo Applies as an Interested Party in Stake Bank vs. GOB

On Thursday, the attorney for Waterloo Investment Holdings, Belize Cruise Development Limited, and Belize Logistics Terminal Limited applied to the Supreme Court to join as an interested party to the ongoing case for judicial review by Stake Bank Enterprise against the Attorney General, NEAC & DOE. Other cruise developer Port Magical/ Portico enterprises is already an interested party on the case as the judicial review a regarding the environmental approval of his cruise port project already granted. In an affidavit filed by Alvaro Duron on behalf of Stake Bank, Duron posited that in approving the Port Magical project, the NEAC did not take into consideration the social and economic ramifications on the already approved Stake Bank Project. In its original claim, the developers of Stake Bank assert that quote “The Government of Belize, by the execution and entry of the Definitive Agreement and the subsequent passage of the Stake Bank Cruise Docking Facility Development (Amendment) Act, 2017 created a legitimate expectation that the Applicant would be the only cruise port in the Belize District.” In the Application, the CEO for Waterloo cited this as cause for the inclusion of the developers of the Port of Belize to be included as an interested party because if this claim is upheld, then not only Portico Enterprises would be barred from proceeding with their development but also any other potential port development including that of Port of Belize. Also noted as a concern, and reason for joining as an interested party, is that in Stake Bank’s claim, it notes that the DOE & NEAC did not consult with the developers of Stake Bank before approving the Portico Enterprise, Port Magical project. On this basis, if the claim is upheld, then DOE & NEAC would have to consult with Stake Bank developers before deciding on whether to approve the EIA of Port of Belize. The court is expected to hear the application next week on whether the developers of Port of Belize will be allowed to join as an interested party.

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