Judge denies request to stop Cole Bay road works

POSTED: 08/5/11 1:16 PM

St. Maarten–Judge Mr. A.N.G.N.E Mijnssen has thrown out a summary proceeding brought by Plutox Distributors N.V. and Saint Martin Cars Plus N.V. The two companies were protesting the May 18, 2011 decision of the Minister of Public Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Theodore Heyliger to grant an infrastructure permit for work on the Welfare Road and the May 23, 2011 decision by Justice Minister Roland Duncan to grant a waiver of the prohibition for excavation of public roads, sidewalks etc. The government was represented by Richard Gibson Jr.

The aggrieved parties wanted the court to quash both decision and order government to not execute the works until the administration had taken a new decision that “adequately satisfies their concerns”, informed the aggrieved parties within two weeks of their new plans and how the businesses would be affected and to order that businesses be reasonably compensated for any losses they might incur

In his ruling Judge Mijnssen states that the aggrieved parties had not motivated their case sufficiently and that the suspension of the work could only be granted if the businesses would be disproportionately affected by the decision. The judge also chose to ignore the argument that the businesses were informed of the works at a very late stage.

Mijnssen said he would not grant the request for compensation because he did not believe the businesses would go through an unreasonable amount of losses and because he considers inconvenience and losses due to road maintenance and construction of facilities “a normal business risk.”

Because of the Judge’s ruling the works can begin on August 15 as scheduled.

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