Officials not losing sleep over Hyatt protest plan
Tourism officials are not perturbed by founder of the Clement Payne Movement and social activist David Comissiong’s plan to protest the construction of a Hyatt hotel on a section of Carlisle Bay on Bay Street, St Michael.
However, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc (BTI) Stuart Layne has seemingly offered Comissiong a listening ear, saying any issues should be discussed and addressed.
The BTI is charged with facilitating investment in the tourism and hospitality sector.
After developers Mark Maloney and James Edgehill signed an agreement with Hyatt’s Senior Vice President Pat McCudden last week for the construction of the hotel, Comissiong objected to its construction on the site which adjoins one of the island’s best beaches, Brownes Beach.
In a media release, the president of the People’s Empowerment Party predicted “social disaster” once the hotel was built, with Barbadians losing free and unfettered use of the beach.
Comissiong has since written to Town Planner Mark Cummins expressing his objection and demanding “a most rigorous and comprehensive” environmental impact and assessment procedure, including a social impact assessment study, before granting permission for the project.
Asked yesterday to respond to Comissiong’s concerns, Layne would not address them directly.
“This is a free country and you are allowed to have different views and if people want to do that [protest], that is their right.
“What I can say is that such projects, and I am speaking generally, are good for
Barbados. But I do believe that if there are general concerns, those concerns should be aired and we should discuss them and see how best to address them,” the BTI head said.