By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
GOVERNMENT was forbidden by the Supreme Court from undertaking a new consultation process on applications by Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard for building permits and Crown land until a judicial review has been completed.
Last month, Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Bain imposed an injunction prohibiting the government from making decisions on Mr Nygard’s applications.
However, in a notice published in The Nassau Guardian on August 6, the government effectively announced the start of a new consultation process.
In a closed court session on Monday, Justice Bain gave the environmental group, Save the Bays (STB), the freedom to seek judicial review over the latest consultation process while prohibiting the government from starting new ones.
The government, therefore, cannot consult on Mr Nygard’s building permit application, future building applications, Crown lease application and the anticipated applications for works relating to existing and non-existing seabed structures.
The government also cannot consider, or continue to consider granting permits, approvals or leases with respect to these applications.
STB, which was represented by lawyer Dawson Malone, argued that the government’s latest consultation process was irrational because it allegedly breached the terms of last month’s injunction imposed on the government’s first consultation process.
Aside from this, Mr Malone argued that the latest process is similarly flawed in many ways.
He said the government has failed to disclose essential documents and information on the applications so people could make meaningful contributions to them. Among those documents, he said, is a land use plan.
He described the government’s most recent notice of its consultation process, which appeared in The Nassau Guardian earlier this month, as unclear.
“It is unclear from the new consultation notices whether the invitation for comments in the notice relates just to the building permit application or to all the applications referred to in the notice,” his group wrote as part of its submission in support of its application seeking to apply for judicial review. “All four categories of applications are mentioned in the notice which suggests that the invitation to provide comments within 21 days may relate to all four. The notice is unsatisfactory and therefore flawed in this respect. This is unfair on the applicant and renders the consultation process inadequate and unfair.”
Mr Malone also argued that STB should be allowed to apply for judicial review because of pre-existing decisions from the Department of Physical Planning to reject similar applications from Mr Nygard while requiring him to restore the coastline at Nygard Cay to its original state.