Access To Beaches For All Locals
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
May 11, 2009 (CUOPM)
A top official of the US$2 billion Christophe Harbor Development on St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula has denied persistent rumours that portions of their 2,500-acre property were acquired or purchased from government to begin the project.
Chief Operations Officer, Mr. LeGrand Elebash at a recent news briefing called to update the media on the progress of the development also refuted reports that locals are being denied access to the beaches and there is no oversight by government agencies on the construction activities.
“It is a well known fact that these lands were privately owned,” said Mr. Elebash.
He pointed out that the present developers of Christophe Harbor (Kiawah Group) and the previous owners (J. B. Turbidy Group) acquired the lands on the Southeast Peninsula from private owners (Dumez) to create the vision for the master plan.
He also referred to the issue of beach accessibility by members of the public. “Another area that is easily open to misinterpretation is beach access. It is something that we feel very strongly about and obviously we are intending as a responsible developer, to act not only within the law, but what is right in terms of continuing to provide access to all beaches on the peninsula,” said Elebash.
“Nothing has changed with regard to that and there has been no barring of access to any beaches,” said Elebash, stressing: “The beaches on the peninsula will be completely open to the public and so, please do not believe it if you hear otherwise from anyone, because it is not so.”
Mr. Elebash said he has read a report that government had abdicated its control for the development process of Christophe Harbor and the developer is free to do as it will on the Southeast Peninsula.
“This is simply not so. The development agreement that we have with government and subsequent development under which we can proceed is a highly complex document that calls for significant government oversight of our every move on the peninsula,” said Mr. Elebash.
He denied that Christophe Harbour is free to do as it will. “This is a partnership with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. We cannot develop the peninsula in a vacuum. We are seeking to develop the peninsula in a cooperative fashion and it really will be impossible for us to do so otherwise,” said Elebash.