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Saint Lucia Government Apologises To SLNT Over Demolition Of Former Royal Gaol

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21st April 2023, in an effort to restore relations with the Saint Lucia National Trust (the Trust), the Government of Saint Lucia (the Government) offers a public statement on the demolition of the former Royal Gaol without adequate consultation with the Trust.

From 7th to 8th September 2018 the former administration authorized the commencement of demolition operations upon the site of the former Royal Gaol on Bridge Street, Castries.

These were preparatory works for the construction of a New Police Headquarters and Criminal Court.

On 9th September 2018 the Trust was granted an injunction by the High Court restraining the Government from continuing these demolition operations.

After meetings, on 24th October 2018 a written undertaking outlining a consultative process between the Trust, the Development Control Authority and the Government was signed by representatives of the respective parties (the written undertaking).

The written undertaking specifically called for the Trust to be consulted at various stages of the project culminating in the Trust being consulted when the plans for the Police Headquarters and Criminal Court were finalized.

A consent order ending the High Court proceedings between the Trust and the Government was also approved on the same day.

The Trust thus agreed to end these court proceedings on the premise that the Government would faithfully abide by the provisions of the written undertaking. Subsequent to the letter, two meetings and a site walkthrough were held between representatives of the
Government and the Trust.

The Trust submitted recommendations on the future development of the Royal Gaol site in March 2019.

From 23rd to 24th May 2020 the former Royal Gaol was however demolished by
contractors duly authorized by the previous Government. This demolition occurred
despite the clear provisions of the written undertaking specifically restraining the
Government from resuming the demolition activities until specified milestones and
agreements had been reached.

The Government admits that the demolition contravened the clear terms of the
written undertaking. The Government unreservedly acknowledges to the Trust its
breach of the specific provisions of the written undertaking that mandated it to hold
further consultations prior to the demolition of the historic Royal Gaol.

The Trust commenced fresh proceedings against the Government in the High Court
in May 2021 seeking declarations that the latter had breached its express undertaking to consult with the former before completing its demolition of the Royal Gaol.

The Government has settled these fresh Court proceedings with the Trust and has committed to the development and implementation, within 2023, of measures that would prevent the future recurrence of such unfortunate events.

The Government unreservedly reaffirms its support to the Trust’s mandate of protecting
Saint Lucia’s natural and built patrimony.

SOURCE: Attorney General’s Office

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15 COMMENTS

  1. say sah SLP pwop worship the dead and gone! i am a lucian. the jail is gone! its gone! time for a new start. and as far as i am concerned they should be rebuilding all the areas around victoria hospital rather than that eyesore of ghetto dwellings as soon as you enter castries!

  2. Sorry that am not much of historian, but smh. A place being used by people to smoke cocaine and harbour harmful rodents was removed in the City and those ppl complaining. Whiles they all live nice in thier homes in Cap Estate or wherever. Smh. So many yrs the Police operating without a proper home, the only place it is deemed feasible and has space, but all u prefer it stay there for people to take cocaine and harbour rats etc. Am lost and simply don’t understand the mentality of us.,Lucians sometimes. I thought by now they would have stopped CABOT. Look they now accepting and asking CABOT for sponsorship for stands in G. Islet, jetty in G.Islet and youth sports personalities. Are these the same ppl who were vex to start off CABOT was given and loan with interest which they CABOT has since pd back.SMH

  3. Ok Phillip j Pierre, apologies accepted. Moving forward what’s your he plan ??? Do you have a plan ?? Tired of that shit , we heard that during you campaign. Let’s move .

  4. Is that what we call governance? We voted you to progress our country not bring us back in the bushes. Apologize for WHAT? and Apologize to WHO? Pierre you and your government are just sick and looking for things to turn our heads away from your incompetence. Stop that bull and govern the country. What is done is done. Good riddance of a colonial time relic, that’s not we want to form part of our heritage. Your government should go ahead and build the Halls of Justice to take the hundreds of youths out on remand for a joint. Maybe you could start getting work done with the balance from the sale of the Banan lands Richard sold.

  5. Ok PJP, now that you have apologized you should rebuild the prison and present it to the Saint Lucia National Trust. I never in my lifetime believed that you would have been such a lousy Prime Minister – the worst this country has seen. Hope you are voted out in disgrace next time we go to the polls.

  6. 2 years in and the politics still continue smh. What we need right now is for the government to actually govern this country. We are no longer campaigning for elections; all this nonsense needs to come to a stop and our leaders need to get down to business and do less talking. PJP has so far disappointed in crime fighting (by announcing everything that he’s about to do) and creating employment for the youth (it’s still early days but it’s still so disappointing).

  7. To me Guyana seeing an economic boom. Why that Toolsie fella eh go back home? Nobody cared about the prison before demolition, not even the trust. Why care now?

  8. While I understand the historical implications,I ask the question, where was the National Trust for the seventeen years after the the prison was relocated to Bordelais?
    This place had become a fire hazard with the vagrants frequenting the area.
    I think the Trust should be the one to apologize.

  9. What were the plans for this old gaol? Were there any? Did the SLNT have any plans for the gaol prior to, save for their political agenda?

    Almost no St.Lucian is sad this eye sore, soul sore, garbage and vagrant dump was removed from the city. Personally, it should have been burnt down to purge the city of the wicked spirits harboured there.

    One of the best things Chastanet did!

    SLNT should do its job, stop playing politics or be dismantled.

  10. Y’all have no idea of what historical buildings and artifacts represent to a country’s history and it’s people ditto the financial benefits if its property managed. I’m appalled by the level of ignorance that I see in the above comments. So sad!

  11. I can understand all the frustrations with everything else but we cannot dismiss the historical importance of these buildings regardless of it being a prison. Nothing wrong with wanting a new hospital and better road am all for it one hundred but history is important and I think the apology is well deserved to the national trust the govt is showing it’s not too big to apologize to sections of the citizenry I’d call that setting a good example good governance in that respect

  12. We have wasted taxpayers monies over the past 5 years by demolishing buildings. Why don’t we renovate or rebuild instead of spending over $70M in rent. What a shame. This building could have been used as Museum. Remember anything with age and history has a Story. Let’s preserve our cultural heritage and history by retaining our buildings.

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