No more limbo

Town planning approves Skeete’s Bay development

After waiting in limbo for the past five years, developer Paul Doyle has been given the green light by Government to proceed with construction this year of his controversial $200 million Skeete’s Bay Tourism Development Project. 

Back in 2012, popular calypsonians Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire and Mac Fingall had led a public campaign by residents against the proposed St Philip development, charging that it would have a negative impact on their community.

Amid fears that the villa project would also block access by residents to the public beach, the then Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley, who is also the parliamentary representative for the area which is known for its fishing, had given his personal assurance that Skeete’s Bay would remain the property of the Crown.

However, the Town & Country Development Office had given the official go ahead to Doyle, who is the owner of the Crane, to start construction on the 67 luxury units overlooking Culpepper Island and Skeete’s Bay and the businessman could not be happier.

“We expect to get it going in a major way shortly,” an upbeat Doyle told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.

He acknowledged that it has not been smooth sailing from the beginning, but said after a slow start, he was very confident that work on the project would get off the ground soon.

“It will definitely start this year,” he said, adding that the tourism development was expected to generate hundreds of jobs during and after construction.

Today there was no talk by Doyle of his earlier proposal to transform the local fish market into a seafood restaurant, which had drawn the ire of residents.

And when asked if the initial controversy surrounding the project has settled down, Doyle told Barbados TODAY:

“We did get Town Planning permission, and I think the controversy was more . . . when we had our town hall meeting, the professionals who guided us through that process told me that it was the only town hall meeting that they were ever at, where 100 per cent of everybody in attendance spoke in favour of the project.

“I think there were one of two people that spoke out about it and had questions, but I think most of their questions revolved around some misunderstandings about their ability to fish on the pier and [access] our restaurant facility,” he said, adding that the misunderstandings had been cleared up and most residents were satisfied.

Doyle also sought to assure Barbadians that there was no chance of Skeete’s Bay being privatized.

“Something I learned 30 years ago coming, is that beaches . . . . and I fully, fully support it . . . . need to be kept for the public to enjoy forever and nobody has to convince me of that,” the Crane Resort boss said.

Initially, Beach Houses, as the venture is called, featured 63 free standing units spread across a 50 acre hillside, with two, three and four bedroom residences each sitting on approximately 8,900 sq. ft. of land and command breathtaking ocean views.

However, the plans have since been adjusted.

Doyle said his current focus was on designing 67 “very contemporary” units, which he said would operate “in the same business way that Crane does, except the units are not in five storey apartments, they are single-storey villas” overlooking the sea.

The Canadian developer, who had previously welcomed plans by Government to redevelop the Sam Lord’s Castle Hotel into the Wyndham resort, said his luxury villas also aimed to attract upmarket clientele.

He pointed out that each villa will have a 55-foot private pool, and that the units cannot be seen “from anywhere” because they are going to be built into the hill and the landscaping will be “very” green.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb.

19 Responses to No more limbo

  1. Earl Crichlow
    Earl Crichlow June 7, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Broken promises from inception aka DLP..

    Reply
  2. jrsmith June 7, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Its about time bajans wake up and realize these are hard times , the world is going full circle leaving us behind , our politicians shares nothing with the black masses , the 1% shares nothing with the black masses, the black masses have no say in anything in Barbados , its now down to survival of the crooked and corrupt not even the fittest .
    ************************************************
    Bajans must be honest we have nothing going for us ,we need jobs to feed our people , please notice where certain business people who was always partial to our Barbados , is now moving any business ideas to other islands in the region, we have people shouting but has never ever add anything to the economy of barbados….
    Barbados survive on tourism you fools with your stupid ideas of blocking this and blocking that , you are the ones who is giving the politicians the leg up they want to keep our black masses in check……………………………..

    Reply
  3. Sheron Inniss June 7, 2017 at 6:28 am

    My one hope is that a trail is left for us hikers. I liked what I saw before the project was stalled.

    Reply
  4. Richard Johnston June 7, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Nothing to soothe the soul like more housing for rich people.

    Reply
  5. Alex Alleyne June 7, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Is the “Commie” man going to fight against this too or he just fixed on HYATT. This is a very beautiful area, I always stop on the hill and take a look and say , this is such a beautiful area……..In the end will I still be able to do same ???????.
    Time and history shall tell.

    Reply
  6. Walter Prescod June 7, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Another $$$$ project for the rich and the people on the rock have lost again. You dont have to be a [commie ] to fight for what you think is right.

    Reply
    • Ras June 7, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Walter nobody stopping the poor from getting projects on stream
      How about Walter Prescod starting another $$$$ project instead of been a Commie lap dog.

      Reply
  7. Santini More
    Santini More June 7, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Another beautiful piece of our natural landscape gone forever.

    Reply
  8. Peter June 7, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Hold it! HOLD IT! this DLP administration will stop at nothing now to salvage this economy. now Let’s hear what the critics and David Comissuiong has to say on the planned transformation on this beautiful, untouched piece od Barbadian landscape, where I understand lots of Bajans do their weekend camping with a little tent orgy here and there, both blacks and whites fuse with each other there. I heard married swingers go there too. It’s now an all bajan weekend pastime. Bring Ice, chasers and hard drinks. Oh… we havin a nice time….

    Reply
  9. Peter June 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Oh No peeping but sweet screaming sounds fill the air….. and this is no karaoke…..

    Reply
  10. Mack June 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

    It is all about the money!!!!!!

    Reply
  11. Charles Atkins
    Charles Atkins June 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Is nothing sacred in this country and what is the worth of a man’s word.
    Work is being done in the dark, but not a ha’penny for you or me.
    Lies lies and more damm lies.
    For what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and suffers the loss of his soul.
    Ignrunt test for ZR drivers and a heartless/ soulless test, for politicians.
    We don’t Elect leadership, we impose a slow death upon ourselves.
    A giant size blood sucking vampire leech Politician.

    Reply
  12. Marva June 7, 2017 at 10:58 am

    It means that locals will NOT BE ALLOWED to pass along the seas side to get from The Marley Vale area, along Culpepper to Bayfield. There will be security guards restricting movement. Look at Crane it is gated off and access restricted to a slippery path.
    I cry out because that area from Ragged Point to Culpepper, especially the Marley end is under severe erosion and my fear is that construction is likely to lead to more.

    Reply
  13. KS June 7, 2017 at 11:12 am

    What about public access to our only “island”??? CULPEPPER!!!
    getting there now involves hiking from Skeete’s Bay, along the coastline. Will we be forced to the water’s edge where the jagged rocks are unpassable?? How far back from the sea will these villas be built??? Let us get some answers BT reporters…. not Mr. Doyle propaganda …. we want the TRUTH!!!

    Reply
  14. Milli Watt June 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    projects can’t done now boy…………elections in the air for sure. money money money moneeeeeeeeeey………..money

    Reply
  15. BimJim June 7, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    So he paid the bribe, then…

    Reply
  16. Jo Blo June 7, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Dear BT, The Town & Country Development Office does not and cannot give permission for coastal developments whether this one or Hyatt.

    That approval is given by the Minister responsible for Town Planning. In this case and the case of Hyatt that is the Right Honourable Freundel Stuart.

    So if anyone has an issue with this direct your ire not to Town Planning but the person who gave the approval.

    Reply
  17. John Wesley June 7, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Stop the stupid comments. If you have a case to make about the project, let us hear it. Did you attend the Town Hall meeting to air your concerns? You might have a legitimate concern, but you have to make it in a rational way.

    Reply
  18. BB June 8, 2017 at 6:28 am

    I think the development is wonderful. There can be a balance between development and preservation of natural beauty of the landscape. Why didn’t the “rich” Bajans try to develop this project. We all know that Barbadians are dependent on foreign investment. I was bred and born in the Skeete’s bay environment. I go there every year I am in Barbados; and I am sure I will continue to do so.

    Reply

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