Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Contractor: No bid to demolish Greyfriars

THE contractor attached to the Greyfriars Church of Scotland controversy said yesterday that actions taken on the building on Tuesday were not an intention to demolish but to allow engineers access for a safety report to come.

Rocky Garcia, who is also a former Congress of the People (COP) candidate, said Tuesday’s removal of the roof at the Frederick Street church and other structural “openings” were meant to allow engineers to get a proper look at parts of the building that may be unsound and therefore hazardous.

Work on the building came to a halt that day when the Port of Spain City Corporation delivered a stop-work order on site to ten workers, who were at the time said to have been locked inside the premises with no keys to the gate.

The corporation’s chief building inspector, Deoraj Ramtahal, who delivered the order, had stated that the new owner, Alfred Galy, was without a permit to demolish and therefore the work being carried out was illegal.

Preservation of the historic building is in the meantime being fought for by the NGO, Citizens for Conservation, who were yesterday waiting for word from Culture Minister, Dr Lincoln Douglas, on whether he has made good on his intention to apply for National Heritage Site status for the church.

Contacted yesterday, Garcia said he was awaiting a report from the engineers on whether the church is stable.

“What we were doing at the building was an assessment and certain cavities were opened for the engineer to have access,” Garcia said, adding that he would proceed “from there” when that report is submitted.

Garcia said no application has been made to the Corporation for permission to demolish and any such application would have to take place after the engineer’s report is available.