“Construct per approved plan” – Raynold-Arthurton advises

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“Construct per approved plan” – Raynold-Arthurton advises
The collapsed house in Marigot.
The collapsed house in Marigot.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Physical Development, Housing and Urban Renewal, Joanna Raynold-Arthurton, has said the collapse of a three-bedroom house in Marigot on Wednesday could have been a glitch in the contractor’s work.

The permanent secretary told Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) today that while the ministry has not received an official report of the incident, it is an unfortunate one that could have been avoided if the contractor(s) had adhered to the approved plan, if there was any.

“It is the responsibility of the contractor and the owners to ensure that they comply with the building standards to construct per approved plan,” she explained.

Joanna Raynold-Athurton

Raynold-Arthurton stated that while the ministry is responsible for approving plans for construction, it is left up to the contractors to make certain that the specifications in those contracts are maintained to avoid future damages.

She noted that there are instances when people try to take short cuts and end up with issues later on. Raynold-Arthurton said people sometimes try to cheat the system by purchasing inadequate materials and those that are not recommended, but fail to realise the long-term damages this can cause.

“In other cases, people trust contractors to do their work, and in the end, some of them do not follow guidelines and the end result is always negative,” she added.

Meanwhile, former Chairman of the National Housing Authority Michael Flood has told sections of the media that the collapse is a clear indication that the building codes were not adhered to and has since called for stronger enforcement in this regard.

Flood said there is need for officials from the ministry to oversee not only large building construction, but those taking place in the country areas.

Fortunately, no one was at home at the time when the three-bedroom house collapsed in Marigot in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Reports are that the family moved out on Tuesday after discovering multiple cracks in the house’s structure.

A neighbour had told SNO that she heard a crackling sound then a loud “boom” at about 12:45 a.m. on August 6.

A source close to the family told SNO that the house was built about two years ago and comprised three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, dining area, and three balconies.

Five persons lived in the house.

The source blamed the collapse on faulty construction, saying that a civil lawsuit may be in progress.

Neighbours are thankful that no one was at home at the time of the collapse because as one put person pointed out, “no one could survive this”.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. This is very sad, I know the pain to build your home but its a greater pain to have it destroyed.

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    Total guide how to undergo your project and step by step how to hire a contractor...

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  2. While I agree that the home builder must be responsible etc, the reason why they got a contractor is because they cannot do the job themselves. it is now the contractors responsibility to ensure the highest standards are adhered to. Some of these contractors just chasing money that's why they do all kinda jobs in any manner. If I am to go by what y'all saying - then it stands to reason that if a police tells me its ok to steal then I should go ahead and still... that kinda mentality does not work. I steal believe as the builder you should know whats right and whats not.When a particular action will jeopardise safety and perform in a manner to avoid such...Do we even know what is a code of ethics

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  3. While I agree that the home builder must be responsible etc, the reason why they got a contractor is because they cannot do the job themselves. it is now the contractors responsibility to ensure the highest standards are adhered to. Some of these contractors just chasing money that's why they do all kinda jobs in any manner. If I am to go by what y'all saying - then it stands to reason that if a police tells me its ok to steal then I should go ahead and still... that kinda mentality does not work. I still believe as the builder you should know whats right and whats not.When a particular action will jeopardise safety and perform in a manner to avoid such...Do we even know what is a code of ethics

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  4. Since when does any Ministry any where approve contracts for private residents ...
    You clearly are not an insider! LOL

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  5. Construction anywhere should be approved and inspected by the authorities. To finance the inspection, an inspection fee would be paid by the contractor. The people who are not generally construction savvy must be protected.

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  6. The DCA hardly ever shows up to check at the construction site on a regular basis.Take a well known builder and ask him to show some of the houses he has build. Ask the owners if they are satisfied. Cheap no good, goo no cheap a Chinese told me.

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  7. Does the Government have to come sit and watch construction go on on peoples private homes?????? Smh

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  8. But it looks like the house was built without steel. Do not see any steel jutting out from the ruins!!

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  9. Who built the bridge in belevue, who approve the plan and contract ?
    All the homes building and renovating without a plan, what planning doing? if is their friend they turn a blind eye,or if the person has money worst yet .just check the southern part of the island vieux,augier.laborie etc

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  10. Weather could have played a part in this too. Did the earth move when there was a tremor or earthquake? Also, everything man-made isn't 100% guaranteed. It's very unfortunate this happened, but thank goodness no one was injured.

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  11. Looks to me that it's an old house not built for that kind of heavy modern roof. If the walls are weak even if the contractor strengthened the top then it would be weak to the foundation. So in essence the load bearing walls would be weak. Renovating old buildings can be dangerous if not done properly. A plan wouldn't save anyone there. We need to know it this house was renovated. The builder need to come out to clear his name. That has never happened before. How cum it happened only to that house

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  12. The Ministry approving contracts left right and center just to get them off their desks. I wonder how many of them look at the plan and contracts. They even get a cut from the contractor for approving the contracts quickly.They all should be held responsible for this incident.

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  13. LI think that contractors must give a one year guarantee, against open cracks and building collapses. These contractors are crooks. One must realize that home owners are not always construction savvy. It is time contractors get jail time and if they run away confiscate their assets. To many people surfer. Government hold back payment it should be mandated to be the same way with dishonest contractors. Jail him.

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  14. Yes its only the contractor to blame, but as the Ms. Authurton said, sometimes these plans are not approved by planning and the owners in conjunction with builder just go and do their own thing anyways. I would love to hear from the family, on what was the transaction between them and the contractor or the process of building this home. They need to collect some of the scrap materials from this place as soon as possible, so they can rebuild a stronger home, with a hopefully more educated contractor next time.

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