Not Browne’s Beach!

Hyatt hotel project hit by controversy

Controversy has hit the US$100 million Hyatt Centric Resort scheduled to be constructed at Carlisle Bay, Bay Street, St Michael.

Two days after developers Mark Maloney and James Edgehill signed an agreement with Hyatt’s Senior Vice President Pat McCudden for the construction of the hotel, which is scheduled to begin in two months, Barbados TODAY is being told the project has yet to receive planning permission.

At the same time, social activist David Comissiong is objecting to its construction on a site adjoining Browne’s Beach, considered one of the best beaches in the world.

Peter Stevens, Stephen Lashley & David Comissiong
Peter Stevens, Stephen Lashley & David Comissiong

In a release today, Comissiong predicted a “social disaster” once the hotel was built, with Barbadians losing the free and unfettered use of the beach which they currently enjoy.

“Well, this is the social disaster that I have been trying to warn my fellow Barbadians about over the past four-and-a-half years. All Barbadians know Browne’s Beach. It is reputed to be one of the finest beaches in the world, and, along with Brandon’s Beach, is the beach of choice of the black, working-class people of Barbados,” Comissiong said.

The activist and President of the People’s Empowerment Party recalled protests four years ago against a hotel development at Skeete’s Bay in St Philip, and he suggested that Barbadians should ensure that Browne’s Beach did not become “an enclave for the wealthy” tourists.

“The Peoples Empowerment Party (PEP) wishes to warn the citizens of Barbados that an even more prominent and culturally important beach is in danger of being taken away from native Barbadians and turned into an enclave for wealthy, white North American and European tourists. We refer to none other than Browne’s Beach – the world famous Browne’s Beach,” Comissiong cautioned.

The attorney-at-law added that he was also concerned that the Hyatt project, which will be built in the UNESCO-designated World Heritage site of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, would affect the country’s standing with the global agency.

The Barbados National Trust, which said it had been acting as advisor on the project to the Town & Country Planning Department, disclosed this evening that the project had not yet been granted planning approval.

“As far as I am aware, planning approval for this development has yet to be granted. The Barbados National Trust has been acting in an advisory role to Town & Country Planning since last year in respect of the application to develop the Bridgetown site, and this work is on-going,” National Trust President Peter Stevens told Barbados TODAY.

“Our main concern with any proposal in this sensitive area, is how the development may affect the status of our World Heritage site and our ability to development the vitally important heritage niche within our economy,” Stevens added.

He cautioned that these issues were especially critical when the proposed structure was likely to become the most dominating feature on the skyline.

However, the minister with responsibility for heritage matters Stephen Lashley sought to reassure Barbadians that construction of the hotel did not mean they would lose access to Browne’s Beach.

“I don’t know that it will take away Browne’s Beach. I think it will enhance Browne’s Beach. There is no provision that allows developers to block access to beaches of Barbados, so I think there will still be access to Browne’s Beach,” Lashley told Barbados TODAY this evening, adding that hotel properties had to share the beaches with the local population.

The minister also sought to allay fears that constructing the Hyatt in the World Heritage Site would negatively impact its designation, insisting that the rules of the World Heritage designation did not prevent development.

“I expect that in order for the hotel to be constructed, the plans and the designs would have to conform to the plans of the Town Planning Office which would have got comments from the relevant agencies such as the World Heritage Committee,” Lashley said.

The minister was also convinced that the hotel would generate additional revenue for the benefit of Bridgetown.

“For quite a while we have heard from various quarters that persons are moving out of Bridgetown and so on. So I think it is good when we have this type of activity . . . a world brand hotel. And I hope we can have spin-off benefits as well,” Lashley said.

Calls to the mobile phone of developer Mark Maloney went unanswered, but he indicated to Barbados TODAY by text message that he was at a meeting and would return the call later.

Neither the Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins nor his deputy George Browne could be reached for comment.


emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

22 Responses to Not Browne’s Beach!

  1. seagul July 29, 2016 at 4:34 am

    The price of progress often have unintended consequences. People think they can control the activity of new hotel chains and suburbia etc, but in fact, once released, it is impossible as these strings are pulled by the wealthy in distant lands. The freedom of Bajans must be first consented and sworn before such an undertaking.

    Reply
  2. jrsmith July 29, 2016 at 4:37 am

    As a certain businessman said the people who shout loudness in Barbados ,are the one who has never contributed anything to the economy of Barbados.. If this was a church it would be alright .

    All we are getting is loud mouth people who continuously preventing our nation some kind of prosperity, we need jobs, jobs, jobs ,jobs for our people the ones who wants to work, this is a soft target easy to protest , if this load of wankers were so concern about the beaches in Barbados why don’t they protest to government to fix the coast line infrastructure …

    People who are so concern about a beach ,never mention how Barbados is used as a guinea pig by corporates as like (Sagicor)

    Reply
  3. Baje July 29, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Tell muh, if Nelson Street and the surrounding area don’t affect the world heritage site status how can a new brand hotel do it?

    Reply
  4. Santini More
    Santini More July 29, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Bajans have enough experience with hotel developments to know locals always end up at the bottom end of the totem pole. If the hotel eventually want to fill up that whole beach area with sun loungers, then some Govt person will allow them to do it. If they decide they need a security gate to access the beach, they will get permission for that too….Tourism has a very nasty habit of robbing locals of land, landscape and land-rights.

    Reply
    • Pat-bb Patty
      Pat-bb Patty July 29, 2016 at 8:01 am

      Got that right, it happens all d time, don’t k what we say they still do as they like, they cares nothing about Bajans….NOTHING

      Reply
    • Joan Wickham
      Joan Wickham July 29, 2016 at 8:14 am

      FIRST , MESS UP, IS HOW CAN YOU BUILD A BRAND NAME HOTEL IN A SLUM AREA, THE EMPIRE CINEMA, THE ROTTING WARE HOUSES, NELSON STREET, A RUN DOWN FIRE STATION/MARKET, WHEN WILL BAJANS STOP BEING GULLIBLE, TO THIS GOVERNMENTS MESSES, THAT ISNOT THE WORD I WANT TO USE, LOL,

      Reply
    • Nevada July 29, 2016 at 9:48 am

      I agree with you 100% the locals should not be excluded from access to their beautiful beaches the political puppets have to put a stop to this before there are no beaches access.

      Reply
  5. Maaz A Love
    Maaz A Love July 29, 2016 at 6:38 am

    It seems this man have no respect for the laws in Barbados that protects him everyday …Get your paperwork right in accordance with the government of Barbados laws ..Not every bajan sells there integrity …Dah beach is mines to ..IZ A BAJAN!

    Reply
  6. Julia Holder
    Julia Holder July 29, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Once upon a time our island was unique. We wanna build everything that the tourists could find in their own back yards. All we seem interested in doing is creating a replica of other people. We want what everyone else has while forgetting that everyone liked to come to what we had. We should not get what the others have because our prices for the same products are always higher. When the tourists realise this and stop coming is when we will have our oh s#$t moment

    Reply
  7. miche July 29, 2016 at 7:04 am

    The rich and famous seem to loose all their sense of kindness towards others,,and selfish,greedy politicians seem to be attracted to them; they couldn’t build unless they had permission….things of this nature should be brought before the people first,,,the last public beach now in the hands of selfish,,self seeking individuals,,,,,one by one the windows to the sea ..are being closed to the masses,,all in the name of development…..its beginning to be like the red indians of america,,,,soon they will pet us in reservations,,,,, people wake up…petition to your Government,,,,Stop this madness,,,,,stop these people,,,,Help your children to enjoy some of the things that we took for granted

    Reply
  8. Winston G. July 29, 2016 at 7:09 am

    As long as money passing, they will get permission to do what they want,Brownes beach as we know it days are numbered, Bajans will soon find that the beach we all loved will be no more,all this nonsense about jobs and the spinoffs is a load of crap,Sun lounges will come out,security barriers will be erected,security guards post ed and one of the best beaches in the world ruined.

    Reply
  9. Judy Stanford
    Judy Stanford July 29, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Go an build where the 4 seasons is lying in ruin..But leave Brownes Beach alone!!

    Reply
  10. Judy Stanford
    Judy Stanford July 29, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Not Brownes Beach…go and build, if you must, on the Paradise Beach site where there is skeletons of building left to ruin.

    Reply
  11. Pat-bb Patty
    Pat-bb Patty July 29, 2016 at 7:50 am

    NO NO, find some place else to build, not d beach where ppl have d most activities, then we can’t exercise and play sports there as we like, or hold School reunions?? NO, that beach want renaming “Bajan beach” coz it belong to we.

    Reply
  12. Carson C Cadogan July 29, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Here it is . I was wondering how the Barbados Labour Party and their supporters would attack the Hyatt project.

    Now here it is. These people are really sickening, they are going all out to make sure that Barbados does not prosper.

    This joker seems to be thinking in slow motion though. This project was planned for some time now and he is now raising this as an issue?

    Everything he says is rubbish.

    Reply
  13. Smiley July 29, 2016 at 9:34 am

    JACK DON’T WANT ME TO BATHE ON MY BEACH!!! FIND ANOTHER SPOT .BAJANS OWN BROWN’S BEACH FOREVER WE DON’T KNOW HOW STUPID POLITICIANS CAN EVEN THINK WE WILL BE BULLIED TO TAKE AWAY THE ONE BEACH EVERY MAN JACK AND YOUNG PEOPLE RELAX AND PLAY AT TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. …HELL NO!

    Reply
  14. Ash July 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I agree with Smiley 100% not pon my beach

    Reply
  15. islandgal July 29, 2016 at 10:07 am

    There is a fabulous beach behind the old Harbour Police Liquidation center, Honda and Mannings now Massy. That area is ripe for development. Perfect spot for a luxury hotel.

    Reply
  16. Rhonda Holder
    Rhonda Holder July 29, 2016 at 11:01 am

    No no hotel on Brownes beach,stop rubbing us of our wonderful window to the sea. Everyone enjoys that area,go build your hotel somewhere else. Why would the government allow you to build there,we lost our moralsand values along the way.smh

    Reply
  17. Angela Bennett September 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Bajans have independence for approx. 50 years, but if the rich North Americans etc. only can enjoy the beach privileges, we are going backwards to when we were a British colony and some of our native people were not allowed to use some of the beaches.

    I hope our politicians don’t be blind-sighted by Million dollar bills and sell out our bajan culture. Being independent should not be just a big celebration every year, but should empower our nation, and our leaders should negotiate the best terms for our bajan people to make us proud of being an independent nation.

    Reply

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