Barbadians Protest Attempts to Develop “Private” Beach


Pride reports that Barbadian authorities have a message for all hoteliers and developers on the island: “There are no private beaches in Barbados.” A group of Barbadians organized a protest called “Dah Beach Is Mine,” stating that, while the island must develop, there is also a need to persevere things “Barbadian” and to allow access to the beaches to everyone.

General Manager of the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Keith Neblett, said the Barbadian public had total access to all the beaches across the island, as he commented on the ongoing dispute between the management of the Crane Beach Hotel — situated on the south-east coast of the island — and beach vendors.

Several Barbadians are planning a protest, today, indicating that while the island must develop, there was also need to persevere things “Barbadian”. The main organiser of the protest, “Dah Beach Is Mine”, Chynna Glasgow, told the local media that the movement, which started years ago and highlighted in Gabby’s song Jack, has to be resurfaced.

“The new millennials have no idea how privileged we are, to be afforded the opportunity to have world-class public beaches; so this protest is to bring awareness to the younger generation and to remind the older generations that this is something that should not be taken away,” she added.

Tourism is the mainstay of the Barbados economy.

Neblett, in an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS), said that “under the NCC Act Cap 393, beach is defined as the land adjoining the foreshore of Barbados and extending not beyond 33 meters beyond the landward limit of the foreshore”.

But he acknowledged that, from “time to time”, beaches got bigger and smaller, based on the weather, resulting in changes to the high-water mark. He explained that once the high-water mark was established, the NCC Act defined 100 feet from the high water mark as beach.

However, he noted that over the years, some beaches, including the Crane, which was once recognised for being one of the widest beaches in the world, had narrowed, making them smaller.

As a result, Neblett indicated, the NCC is now in the process of re-establishing what was a public beach. “We are going to get the Chief Surveyor from the Ministry of Housing and Lands, in a week’s time, to establish that clear area of what is beach. After that is established, there would be no doubt, for any person who wants to use the beach at the Crane or any other beach….as to what the public has access to,” he stated. He said the NCC’s function is to control, maintain and develop the public parks, public gardens and beaches of Barbados. [. . .]

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