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Jamaica: High-rises for Portmore

The densely populated municipality of Portmore should transition to high-rise living as one of the fastest-growing regions in Jamaica.

That is one of the proposals that is being mulled by a joint select committee examining the prospects of Portmore being designated the island’s 15th parish.

Peter Knight, chief executive officer of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), said during his presentation on Wednesday that two- and three-story buildings may have to become a standard model.

“To accommodate this rate of growth, given the limited land that is available, there will be need for development to be more intensive and smart, so we can’t just build a one house on the flat,” said Knight.

Frances Blair, senior manager in NEPA’s Planning Subdivision, said that it was proposed that existing unplanned settlements in areas such as Gregory Park, Newlands, Naggo Head, and Old Braeton be redeveloped at higher densities for housing and commerce.

Similar recommendations were made in a provisional development order for the municipality, which was produced in 2018. It was produced after consultations with several government regulatory agencies and residents.

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