Court halts demolition of historic Castries prison in St Lucia

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Demolition works at Castries Prison

By Melanius Alphonse
Caribbean News Now associate editor
melanius@caribbeannewsnow.com

CASTRIES, St Lucia — The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) has obtained an injunction from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court preventing the Saint Lucia government and its agents from continuing the demolition of the buildings and burial ground known as the Castries Prison, formerly the Royal Gaol, in Castries, Saint Lucia or continuing demolition works or executing any works on the property until the court makes a further order.

According to the SLNT plans were being advanced to demolish the historic structure but the Trust had been unable to verify that these works are approved by the Development Control Authority (DCA).

The Castries Prison is possibly the oldest structure in Castries and therefore of historic significance.

“It tells an important, albeit dark side of our history, but one we should not forget, for to do so will cause us to perpetuate the societal ills its function attempted to address,” the SLNT said.

The proposed demolition is part of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Halls of Justice project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Demolition works taking place at the Castries Prison

The SLNT called on the DCA to:

• Stop any further works on the Castries Prison site, including the demolition of the Castries Prison until the required applications are submitted, considered and approved;

• Take account of the historic significance and structural integrity of the Castries Prison when considering any application to demolish the structure;

• Require the applicant to produce indicative plans for the redevelopment of the site to enable meaningful consideration to integrating the prison building and adjacent prisoner burial grounds into the planned project. The building served an important function in the national justice system and opportunities to link this history with the future of the justice system should factor into the DCA’s decision on this matter; and

• Engage heritage conservation organisations in discussions prior to making a decision on any application it may receive to demolish and redevelop the Castries Prison.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Man I just cant believe,the kind of idiots that we have in this country,all that area is a historical area,besides you allready have to knock down that building that was built years ago,and is allready falling down by itself,because some contractors decided to cut corners.
    The old jail was one of our most important historical buildings course we dont care a dam about our history,so much so that we still cant organice a national museum,because nobody cares.How sad,how stupid we are.

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