New Sandals resort raises eyebrows

Concerns are being raised about possible environmental damage at Dover Woods, Christ Church as a result of the construction of Sandals Royal Barbados resort, the new all-suite property that began as an expansion of the company’s existing resort.

Sustainability enthusiast Jim Webster said he was worried that the US$160 million development was affecting the area’s significant vegetation and hurting its natural and built heritage.

And he questioned why Government had given approval for the development, allowing the flora to be destroyed.

“Obviously whatever process was followed to give Sandals the approval to take all those trees out and to fill in sort of a large land and build this, people are maybe not a lot happy about it,” he said.

Webster, who resides in Canada but visits Barbados frequently, said it was while doing research on the area that he discovered images that showed the rapid disappearance of the rich vegetation in just four years.   

He told Barbados TODAY he was concerned that a cemetery that dates back to the 1600s would be damaged, and Dover Woods as “the largest piece of natural area and green space” on the island’s south coast was being destroyed.

“I was rather shocked to see that it has basically been wiped off the map,” he said.

Webster has posted photographs of the area on his Facebook page – the images have been shared nearly 700 times, and some posters have expressed outrage at the development.

“Can’t believe this could happen . . . How were they [allowed] to build on a beautiful stretch of land? Surely the company should be made to restore the land if it’s not completed,” one poster said.

“That is so sad! My country being sold to the highest bidders! Stop the craziness now! Barbados belong to the people,” another stated.

Webster told Barbados TODAY he recognized that the hotel created jobs and contributed to the economy.

However, he said there must be greater balance between economic development and the environment.

“I know the hotel will bring economic value to Barbados and it will be good for employment . . . but I also thought people come to Barbados for more than going to the beach and staying at Sandals and the big resorts.

“A lot of people come to Barbados for the natural areas and the history. And if we sort of take away those things you take away from that whole experience why you come here. There are lots of resorts in the world that they can go that it is just one large hotel after the other. So people have choices,” Webster said.

In a prepared response, Sandals Public Relations Manager David Hinds said the “development of Sandals Royal Barbados Resort [was done] in accordance with all necessary permissions, environmental assessments and permits, and within the guidelines provided to us, as we do in every territory which Sandals operates.

“We are a Caribbean company and we have a long tradition and policy of protecting the environment, an effort that is carried through our work with the Sandals Foundation. The Caribbean is our home too and we take that responsibility very seriously,” he stressed.

Hinds said Sandals Resort International, the franchise owner of the Sandals chain of hotels, was “proud of our partnership with the Government that will introduce a second Sandals property, expanding tourism and its many opportunities that will directly benefit the people of Barbados”.

During the early phase of the construction residents had expressed concern about the swamp and a watercourse was in the area. Those concerns were was quickly addressed.

37 Responses to New Sandals resort raises eyebrows

  1. Arthur Marshall
    Arthur Marshall March 25, 2017 at 2:18 am

    destroying t environment

  2. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler March 25, 2017 at 3:07 am

    They were supposed to be expanding the current Sandals and ended up building another one. Now how does that happen?

  3. Jennifer March 25, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Is this a case of being given an inch and taking a yard or being given a yard at the start?????? Only a narcissist could have approved this project. I really wish that my people would stop being under the assumption that Barbados belong to you, as it is clear that it does not, if so you would have a share in the MAJOR FINANCIAL STAKES, and not just the clean up crew. You are only here serving time to be whipped via scrummage etc. All this sounds like environmental terrorism to me. Now we see why David should challenge the building of this one on bay street. Although nothing will come of that gimmick either.

  4. Rick March 25, 2017 at 6:40 am

    This is defined as progress to the current government. Who cares about the environment it’s all about the almighty dollar. When bim becomes totally concrete and tourist stop coming we wil be continuing on the path of a lot of abandoned buildings along the coast. Progress isn’t always about money!!! Look at how negative society has become at the cost of foreign investments. We have ignored the purpose of the government (representing the needs of its citizens) and have just been chasing the foreign dollar which has obviously only benefited a very small percentage of the population. It’s not too late to turn this boat around. .. all these multimillion dollar foreign investments and things are just getting worse for the local people…..that is not progress!!!!

  5. Bajan First March 25, 2017 at 6:58 am

    As a local who has frequently visited the area for close to fifty years I understand the concerns expressed above especially as they relate to the removal of the vegetation from the area and the disappearance of the woods. I have however also observed what Sandals has done to create greenery on its properties in other islands and I am confident that the same will be done at the “Church Yard ” property. We cannot afford the luxury of holding on to all that has sentimental value while our children go hungry. Poor people must be provided with work so that they can feed their families.

    • Jim Webster March 25, 2017 at 7:22 am

      Bajan First, I for one, am really hoping that Sandals will take the opportunity to enhance this site with greenery along with the neighbouring “church Yard” so the the area can be enjoyed by both visitors and locals alike. There is a real opportunity here for them showcase their environmental and sustainable commitment to Barbados and this site. When Google updates future images we’d all like to look at the photos and see a project that Bajans feel proud of.

  6. Samud Ali
    Samud Ali March 25, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Barbados does not belong to the people; we all belong to the planet and as we continue to knowingly make things worse worse while hoping it pans out for the better in some way, so do we continue to fool ourselves; once destroyed these things do NOT return

  7. Santini More
    Santini More March 25, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Sandals is bringing in plenty plenty foreign exchange, so this Government has given them carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want to. If that means denuding the South Coast of every damn tree and building on water courses its NO PROBLEM BUTCH…How very pathetic, weak and desperate Barbados has become over the last 9 years.

  8. Sheron Inniss March 25, 2017 at 7:41 am

    When you remove the original flora and fauna you have already created havoc. Replanting will not restore the particular birds, butterflies, etc. Environmentalists has been saying this years before me and I am over 50. Please stop destroying our homeland. It does not belong to the members of parliament. Their short sightedness has surpassed stupidity. Why can’t they recognize that building on the land side and leaving the remaining coastal areas free for Bajans and visitors alike is the best way to go? That is why I no longer attend town hall meetings. When these people make their decisions I seldom know what to think. THE I AM THAT I AM is the only One to turn to now. Even if you do not believe in the Bible the implications of selling your birthright for a mess of pottage is clear. Also, there are two Bims. All who say differently; them lie.

    • jennifer March 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      @SHERON- THIS is not about leaving anything. The winner takes it all. The conscience is not developed.

  9. michael parker March 25, 2017 at 7:42 am

    this looks simple to me, someone is getting a backhander, to allow this construction to go ahead as rick says barbados will become a concrete jungle, there are to many hotels cropping up and not enough people to fill them.

  10. Frank White March 25, 2017 at 8:24 am

    When it comes to these so called whites, it’s hands off… The town planning department is there to enforce the Law in the black community but won’t dare touch the so called whites… Soon and very soon all of you all will be working for the so called white people because they are subtlety taking over all the sectors in Barbados while you all busy going to church, looking for someone other than yourself to save you and preaching the “we is all one” speech while the white community is pulling the rug from under you… Brother Commissiong is on the right path…

    • jennifer March 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Frank – They can’t touch them, it’s about protection, just like the good ole days.

  11. Mack March 25, 2017 at 8:24 am

    When you are poor and needy anyone can come and do anything to you. You need that foreighn exchange so anything will happen.

  12. JS March 25, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Right now the economy is so terrible anything that will bring money to Barbados will be able to float it’s boat in Barbados. Yes the environment etc…. but the government put themselves in this position so what ever they can do to “save” the island from drowning they will do it. Tourism is Barbados’ bread and butter so right now you cant really be thinking about the “ancient” things….that’s the past lets move forward….every project that the government pursues on “historic” land or vegetation land you can’t block it every time. That area isn’t the only vegetation area in Barbados you know….

    • CR March 28, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      btw it WAS the only woodland left on the south coast

  13. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner March 25, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Money talks that’s how Barbados operates screw everyone else and the enviroment.

  14. Donild Trimp March 25, 2017 at 9:58 am

    @Bajan First – “Poor people must be provided with work so that they can feed their families”

    At what cost Bajan? The jobs being created are at slave wages. It is virtually impossible to feed a family on $200 a week.

    • jennifer March 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      @donild – well said. And it looks bad. We need a mentality make over out of this belly fulling mentality.

  15. David Hall March 25, 2017 at 10:59 am

    These same people reportedly owned the Old Paradise Hotel site in St James but reused to invest when they did not get their way. Seem snow they have been given the green-light to do whatsoever they want.

  16. Outside March 25, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Government in barbados is a bunch of uncle Tom’s,and yes people they never do research just flash the money and Barbados sold

  17. Mickey March 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I think it is terrible to destroy native woodland and accompanying wild life in this way. Barbados is poorer without it’s natural fauna.

  18. Ann Thomas March 25, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    This is so disgraceful, we should be hanging our heads in shame. And if we are not careful they will destroy the graveyard by Maxwell Beach. Lots of vehicles parking too close to it already.

    There is nothing, or no money that could justify this wanton destruction. However, I would really like to know just how much foreign exchange comes into the island through Sandals.

    Rooms and meals are paid for off-shore, they have a huge warehouse in Dover, so how much do they really spend here? Yes they may employ bajans, but what is the quality of the jobs? How many Barbadians are employed in mid and senior management? We really need to get behind some of these issues to assess the real value of Sandals to Barbados

  19. Peter March 25, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Development is development. Trinis own more of Barbados than any of you can think. Jamaicans and Guyanese are now getting in on the act. I know of people who owns lan\d more than ten and fifteen times the size of Barbados. They are moving rich silica snow white sands into rivers and lakes and creating beach front properties to blend with their rich nature of birds, animals, greenery and waterfalls none of which Barbados has except for its beach. Jennifer. everything you write is littered with racist and condescending remarks compounded with your failure at achieving a quality life. I own a property in Pembroke Pines Florida which was once an Everglades zone. That area as well as many more ore developed and still has greenery. If an American or UK or any other developer from outside the Caribbean was the developer, you and all the others would have shut up your backsides. All I would like is for Sandals developers to pay their full taxes due. We have a 18 mile 2 miles DEAD reef off our South East coast. NOTHING can live there and it is a shallow reef as one can see the white caps breaking near the surface at low tide. Environment concerns what? A Dutch Hydro engineer told me gthat that reef can be converted into a barrier island which lie Canadam marine life would return which can include a lobster and see egg farm. And that is not all. My friend Phil showed me a paper he did on that whole area. I say no more. There are four large international airports built on reclaimed land in waters over 1,000 ft deep, while the Dubai has two larger land reclaimed areas called their Palm Islands. Singapore has reclaimed 87 sq. miles We ain’t see nuttin yet. ef we ever will.

  20. Coralita March 25, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Since when bajans cared anything about the environment? So much littering, so much styrofoam containers and plastic bags got the drains and gullies blocked and the beaches littered and contaminated. People still throwing empty bottles, bags and other stuff through the windows of moving vehicles. Burning non-stop and killing their neighbours. Vehicles smoking like chimneys and got you feeling ill as you drive. Some bajans so nasty and yall up in here talking about Sandals? Give me a break!!!

    Man look, tek the beam outta wunna own eyes before wunna seek to tek the mope outta Sandals eyes.

    Cuss me, my bread don’t get buttered at none of wunna houses!!!

    • Hope April 3, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Not everyone is nasty and destructive. Are you?

  21. Sad Sue March 25, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    What next? The beach becomes “private”. I’m betting on it. 🙁

  22. Francis March 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Mr Hinds from Sandals you disappoint me!!
    Your response is a prepared statement saying that you followed procedure etc etc
    That was not the point as we know Sandals could not have built the hotel without government approval.

    How about telling us how you plan to put some more greenery back into the area? You must have some plan to do that.
    Your response was disappointing!!

  23. PETER PAN March 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm


  24. Jim Webster March 27, 2017 at 2:32 am

    It would be interesting to see the watershed map that was prepared, as part of the Environmental Impact study. From what I can tell the site is the major catchment and drainage area for Maxwell and vicinity. Based on feedback I’ve received since this story came out, during the floods last fall, the surrounding neighbourhood was highly impacted as the natural drainage system and marshes were no longer available to help with the flow of water heading toward the sea.

    • CR March 28, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      even their own lobby was flooded in November. their construction site was also under water. they don’t know what they’re doing. they have mickey mouse drains flooding the road and blaming it on the ‘unusual’ rainfall. no one cares in Drainage division. government does not care!

  25. James Franks March 27, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Sandals has raped and pillaged an area of national beauty and of historical interest, and this quite disgraceful Government has turned a blind eye to what is happening.Dollar comes first and foremost, before anything else.

  26. Wally March 28, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Employment is good for the people of Barbados but not a fan of Butch and Sandals greed of leaving well enough alone with the environment. Rather stay at Turtle Beach resort where it is real

  27. Darson April 2, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    i would like to know where he got the 2013 2014 2015 pics i really have to wonder ?//

  28. Ossie Moore April 4, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Have you ever thought it could be a lacking of Earth Science awareness, ecology and environmental science by members of parliament and the senate body or is it liken to the Indian travelling salesmen of the fifties and sixties.

  29. Brewster April 5, 2017 at 9:31 am

    You are destroying the land of Barbados FOREVER! Brim looks more like a concrete jungle everyday. These places never bring any real benefit to the people. The money earnt leaves also. Why o why agree to this …. There are hotels that need refurbishing and filling already. We don’t need these Disney styled, gated irrelevant places on what is a small island. St Lucia is currently trying to stop something similar ruining their paradise. All of you Big Heads in the Government haven’t got a clue. #PrayforBarbados.

  30. Brewster April 5, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Sandals and the Government protecting the environment I don’t think so! You are destroying the land of Barbados FOREVER! Bim looks more like a concrete jungle everyday. These places never bring any real benefit to the people. The money earnt leaves also. Why o why agree to this rubbish. There are hotels that need refurbishing and filling already. We don’t need these Disney-styled, gated irrelevant, ugly places on what is a small island. St Lucia is currently trying to stop something similar ruining their paradise. All of you Big Heads in the Government haven’t got a clue. No point in saying wake up, things have gone too far! #PrayforBarbados.


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