Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the public will have access to the new Houses of Parliament building being proposed for development in a section of the 52-acre National Heroes Park in Kingston.
“It is the public’s building, because it will be within a park, and there is no intention whatsoever to close off this area from the surrounding communities,” the Prime Minister said.
He was speaking at a town hall meeting organised by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) at the Park on Thursday (October 25) to discuss the Government Circle Project being proposed for the area.
The project, being spearheaded by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), will also entail the construction of new offices for 14 government ministries and improved housing on some 300 acres of land in several communities around the Park.
Communities adjacent to the Park include Allman Town, Campbell Town, Woodford Park and Fletchers Land.
Mr. Holness said it is proposed to develop the Park with the necessary amenities, “but more importantly, with the security to ensure that the facility is safe”.
“So, if you want to come out at 10:00 p.m. and walk around, you don’t have to think twice about doing so… because whether it is 10:00 a.m. or 10:00 p.m., the Park will be safe. That is the kind of environment we want to create and that is the direction that has been given to the UDC, because it will be a Park for the people,” he added.
The Prime Minister reiterated the importance and need to construct a new building for the Houses of Parliament.
Noting that Gordon House was never intended to permanently accommodate Jamaica’s Parliament, he said efforts to upgrade the facility have been unsuccessful, because “the building just cannot be improved”.
In this regard, the Prime Minister indicated that the new building will be a “physical manifestation of what we want our country to be”.
“The Parliament (building) will truly represent our sovereignty and will project to the world the pathway on which we are engaged,” he added.