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EDITORIAL – They have really gone to town

luigimarshall, [email protected]

EDITORIAL – They have really gone to town

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MICHAEL?LASHLEY is always at pains to put his housing vision before the public. His latest dream is a seven-storeyed apartment complex for Mason Hall Street and its environs in The City.
From the artist’s impressions, the apartments are hardly short of stately and the top floors of these will be penthouse-like, offering breathtaking views of larger Bridgetown itself and the attendant picturesque western coastline.
Some of these apartments will be rented; others sold, said the Minister of Housing.
We are yet to learn though which sections of the complex will be rented and which sold. But, for sure, a well maintained complex will give a lift to the now mainly depressed area.
Or, will it really?
Apartment complexes are costly and challenging to maintain. Already, the Government does not have an excellent record of building maintenance, and its record of garbage collection has in recent years been questionable.
To be fair, Barbadians at large do contribute to the difficulties of the Sanitation Services Authority (SSA). Many people still dump their waste indiscriminately.
Once they have set aside their garbage bags by the wayside or designated areas of deposit at the preapproved times for collection, they care not afterwards whether the SSA is able to meet its obligations at the appointed times or not. The consequences are refuse of unsanitary smell and sight strewn across patches of lawn or the roadway.
It seems, give some of the dirty practices of homeowners, such a complex as envisioned for Mason Hall Street will require strict guidelines for care and maintenance, with penalties attached.
Of course, there are those people who do not like the idea of all this concrete high-rise for living. Where will mum and dad stretch their legs or jog; and where will the children play? Obviously in a seven-storeyed complex of homes, dwellers therein need their own space of relaxation and respite.
A minipark at the very least is essential.
And seeing how Owen Arthur’s vision of a car per household has exceeded all expectations, satisfactory and sufficient space for parking is even more critical.
But perhaps of most import are safety and security – from parking area to apartment; from apartment to apartment. These are veritable challenges.
So while Mr Lashley has gone to town architecturally and impressively on this novel notion for Barbados, he needs to be set back down from seventh heaven by his advisers to seriously consider these ancillary requirements.
The Mason Hall Street endeavour must by reason be more than an eyeful.