The Cherry Gardens Housing Project which has seen the construction of some 115 affordable homes should have its roads in place by mid-February.
According to General Manager of the Nevis Housing and Land Development Corporation (NHLDC), Eustace Nisbett, the bulk of the infrastructure is already in place but work would have been set back by the rainy season.
“The establishing of boundaries and curb lines are done…we also did a fair amount of grading but rains during the hurricane season would have damaged the road.”
Nisbett said however, that the agency responsible for building the roads – Surrey Paving – had recently resumed grading and cleaning, and improvements are expected shortly. He said these improvements would include the establishing of curbs, slippers and drainage areas.
The general manager pointed out that asphalting of the roads would then follow but that aspect of the construction would depend on the Public Works Department.
‘They will, naturally, have to fit us into their schedule since they already have a number of projects ahead of Cherry Gardens.”
Nisbett identified these projects as most of the commercial area in Pinney’s, the Nugents Village,Nugents Heights, Prospect, Palms, Shaw’s Road, Church Ground, and Maddens.
He said however, that Maddens may cede priority to Cherry Gardens since a lot of heavy construction equipment is still traversing the area. Nisbett explained that this is another reason why work on the Cherry Garden roads was delayed.
“…if you have heavy equipment rolling you will have damages to the road. So we decided we would get most of the excavations and other heavy works done before we started on the roads.”
Other developments earmarked for Cherry Gardens include what Nisbett describes as a “Green Space”, the setting up of an outpost, complete with mail boxes, of the Nevis Post Office, the naming of streets in the community, and the building of bus stops in the wider Prospect area.
According to Nisbett, the first phase of the Green Space will include the Cherry Gardens Family Centre which will consist of fields for cricket and football, courts for basketball and tennis, a children play area and two confectionary shops.
Nisbett explained that although these plans are prepared they won’t go ahead without the input of residents. He said that to ensure the NHLDC incorporates the views of persons in the area it has sent out correspondences to residents of Cherry Gardens and nearby Malcolm’s Hill, and hopes to send others out to Prospect by month-end.
In the wide-ranging interview Nisbett also revealed the corporation’s plans to introduce a one-bedroom design to the two and three-bedroom models it currently offers to prospective home owners. He explained that as many as 50 persons have expressed interest in a acquiring a “Petal” as the model is called and the corporation is willing to accommodate them.
“There are some persons who want something now and think of expanding later. Bearing in mind and understanding that the cost of construction in Nevis is relatively high what we are trying to do is accommodate those persons who want a quick fix for now with the view of expanding later.”
He explained the Petals are earmarked for the Hamilton and Maddens developments and should cost between $80,000 and $85,000.
Meanwhile, the NHLDC head said that in an effort to better serve homeowners and other stakeholders, the corporation has established a help-desk which can be accessed 24 hours a day.
“Idea is to make it easier for customers to do business and get answers. We will have someone assigned directly to that. There will be a voice-mail system attached to it. You can call 24 hours a day. You may not get an answer 24 hours a day but your concerns will be documented.”
Persons can also send queries to the corporation by going to its website at www.nhldc.com and filling out a form. According to Nisbett, once queries go to the help desk they will be forward directly to the persons responsible for dealing with the issue.