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Bequia Residents appalled at plans to construct a pier at Admiralty Bay

Bequia Residents appalled at plans to construct a pier at Admiralty Bay

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Residents of Bequia and other concerned citizens have expressed their horror at plans to construct a jetty at Admiralty Bay in Bequia, and are calling on the Physical Planning and Development Board to reject the application in its entirety.

Today is the deadline for responses from the public to an application made on May 29, 2020 by Tradewinds Tribu Ltd, for permission to carry out development in the Belmont / Admiralty Bay area of Bequia.

According to information, the applicant has purchased what is known as the Mimosa House and the adjacent property that abuts The Plantation House. This parcel extends from the road that goes down to the Fig Tree Restaurant southwest to the Plantation House property. The Applicant is proposing to construct a pier that extends out into the harbour for approximately 175 feet from shore and turns at a right angle northeast another 80 feet.

“The applicant plans on using this location for the hub of their business in the Grenadines. The company is in the business of chartering large catamaran sailboats to members. Although the application is not specific in what the business is, it appears that this location will be used for turnaround operations between different charter groups and for maintenance and repairs of their boats,” a document provided to SEARCHLIGHT informed.

Former Prime Minister and Northern Grenadines representative Sir James Mitchell said in a letter to the Secretary of the Physical Planning and Development Board that he is “appalled” that there could be a marina at this location and that public response to this planning application terminates this week, with such short opportunity for public analysis.

“Therefore my first reaction is to urge you to extend the time for public inspection of the said plans for another three weeks. You will in this way confirm that you are serious about management of the environment,” Sir James said in his letter.

He said the application he has seen “acknowledges that this operation will be noisy, experience oil spills, with no provision for removal of human waste from the boats. This long established residential area will be harassed by noisy traffic in getting supplies and refuse from the boats. It will reduce value of other tourist establishments in the area and therefore I cannot envision any gainful employment.”

He recommended that a study should be done to determine the impact of the project on stay over visitors and yachties, and business in general.

“This exercise should not simply be a planning application. There should be an application to government for lease of the seabed, which should be denied. An environmental assessment should also be available for public scrutiny. This development is not one for use of private property. I therefore do not support approval of this project in any form. I support direct foreign investment, but not at the expense of our quality of life,” said Mitchell, who represented Bequia in Parliament for 35 years.

Margaret Hughes Ferrari, another homeowner, noted that several generations of her family have enjoyed “swimming, snorkeling and other recreational activities in the exact area that would be impacted by the proposed development.”

In her letter to the Physical Planning and Development Board, Hughes Ferrari said she is “appalled that such an application would be made, far less entertained by the Board”.

The negative impacts of such a project, identified by Hughes Ferrari, include:

(i) The devastating environmental damage to the area including the precious and endangered marine life

(ii) The despoiling of a large and beautiful area used by locals and visitors alike for swimming and other recreational activities

(iii) The ruination of the beautiful and iconic Port Elizabeth Harbour

(iv) The pollution inevitably caused by the operation of a marina.

“…I think the above should be sufficient to persuade the Board to reject this application in its entirety. I love my country and recognise the need for foreign investment but NOT at such an appalling cost to beautiful Bequia and the citizens of St. Vincent & the Grenadines,” Hughes Ferrari ended.

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