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Developers agree to give access through resort to beaches – Bynoe

Developers agree to give access through resort to beaches – Bynoe

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The relationship between Canouan activist Terry Bynoe and Canouan Resort Development (CRD) Ltd seems to be taking a turn for the better – with the reversal of a 16-year ban that prevented Bynoe from entering CRD property.

Speaking with SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, October 19, Bynoe said that he met with John Dwyer, newly appointed chief executive officer of Canouan Estate Villas and Residences last Sunday, after he (Dwyer) requested it the previous day when Bynoe was part of a small group of protestors stationed at the resort’s entrances.

“He said: ‘we need to fix this situation because it’s a win/win situation for everyone’… So, he invited me to sit with him.”{{more}}

According to Bynoe, he and Dwyer met “on neutral ground” in the central village, and spoke at length about various issues affecting Canouan residents – particularly access to the beaches surrounding the developer’s resort.

Also present at the meeting were locals Deborah Pompey and Andrew Foyle.

Bynoe added: “He said: ‘Terry, you and Debbie and everyone are allowed to drive go to any beach that has a road to drive to.’ So Debbie and I tested it on Monday around 4 o’clock. We went to Mahoe Beach, we had our swim and we came out. We stopped at the checkpoint and the security just looked in our vehicle, made sure everything was okay, and we left.”

The Canouan activist said that the latest turn of events is a “good step”, and he appreciates the fact that someone representing the developer’s interests “came to the table and talked”.

“Now we look forward to moving forward,” he enthused.

“I feel good because this is something we’ve been fighting for… It’s a good turn around. I just want to say for the naysayers who didn’t think it would be possible, we proved them wrong!”

In August 2000, tensions came to a head between the developers at Canouan Resorts (CRD) Ltd and locals, who objected to the company seemingly being given leeway on not adhering to a 12-point agreement signed by Bynoe, CRD Ltd and then Prime Minister James Mitchell.

At the forefront of the protest action then, Bynoe had found himself in a physical altercation with security personnel on CRD Ltd property, which resulted in him being charged with unlawful entry and assault, and subsequently slapped with an injunction that prohibited him from accessing lands owned by CRD Ltd.

Tensions then flared up again in February 2016, with the establishment of ‘no anchor zones’ on the east and west coasts of Canouan, and the building of structures that blocked public access to several beaches – in particular Godahl and Mahoe beaches.

This resulted in some Canouan residents blocking the checkpoint entrance to the resort in protest, which resulted in CRD Ltd filing legal action against Bynoe, alleging that he and several others had caused the company to lose out on over $1 million in business.

Speaking with SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, Bynoe expressed relief that progress has been made.

“We don’t want to disturb the guests; we want the hotel to run smoothly and people get their jobs,” he insisted.

“It’s not like we want to go every day. There may be occasions when there is a little holiday or something and we would use the opportunity to have a little fun.”

Additionally, Bynoe said that Dwyer promised to make available three golf carts that locals can use to get to Godahl Beach until a footpath is established.

“We will watch it and see how it goes. I don’t think they will want to turn this back, because if they do, there are other [tourist] seasons that will come up, and whatever we do, it would be worse. People may well join with us more, to say well they gave us access and now they changed their minds… I just hope they understand and have established that the road was there before and it’s a public road.”

He also pointed out that he expects Canouan residents to use their discretion and be reasonable in their behaviour and what type/condition of vehicle they use when entering the property to access the beaches.

Regarding the injunction against him, Bynoe said that his legal representative Bayliss Frederick will be liaising with CRD Ltd to have that matter resolved.

SEARCHLIGHT reached out to CRD Ltd, but was unable to get a response from Dwyer or other management official by the time the publication went to press. (JSV)

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