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PAAB uneasy with Park Beach, Estate

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EDITOR: The People’s Action Alliance of Bequia was surprised to hear the Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in his press conference of September 4, outline a plan to retain 200 acres of park as a nature reserve while offering 400 acres to a developer such as a five-star hotel. On July 31 at his meeting with delegates of PAAB, the Prime Minister did say that “a significant part of that area should be kept for the environment” but did not make it clear that this would be land not sold, but retained by government.{{more}} He also stated on July 31 that his plan was to lease the park to a developer, not sell it.

The retention of land in ownership of the state, for the use of citizens and visitors as an environmental area, is commended by the Peoples Action Alliance. However if this is to be just a buffer zone for the forfeit of 400 acres to a foreign party for a “development” the PAAB is in total disagreement. No development in Bequia, five star or otherwise, requires that amount of land. The Sunny Caribbee/Plantation House in Bequia is on 17 acres of land.

The PAAB is in favour of well-planned tourist development in keeping with the size and nature of Bequia and would welcome a new hotel on the island.

Neither Mustique nor Canouan, however, should be used as models for Bequia which has its own unique character and history. The PAAB asked the Prime Minister at the meeting of July 31, if there was a plan for Bequia. His answer was that there were sketches of a plan and that these would be “further elaborated” in due course. The PAAB looks forward to the publication of this plan.

Meanwhile a public meeting at the Bequia Community High School has been called by the executive of the People’s Action Alliance for Thursday, September 14, at 5.00 p.m. All interested persons are welcome to attend.

The People’s Action Alliance of Bequia

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