ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Residents once again have uninhibited entry to the beaches at Pearns Point following the Development Control Authority’s (DCA) demolition of a controversial barrier stopping vehicular access.
Government minister with responsibility for the DCA, Chanlah Codrington, last night, supervised the dismantling of the gate located on the road to the beach.
The strong-arm action came after DCA officials encountered “a padlocked gate” instead of being able to drive down to the beach as Jennings resident Macbeth George had indicated earlier in the day on OBSERVER Media.
It’s understood that Orange Limited investors of the multi-million dollar development at Pearns Point open the gate during the day, but lock it at night to prevent the environmentally hazardous illegal sand-mining.
And so having gone after dark, Codrington and the DCA team would not have right of way to the beach. It was around 8 pm that the minister told OBSERVER he felt “a strong signal” needed to be sent to anyone who wished to prohibit access to the beach.
Codrington indicated that the lack of “improvement” despite a letter from the DCA meant that something had to be done about the situation.
He promised that such breaches of the Physical Planning Act 2003 section 60 subsection 1, which deals with public beach access, “will be dealt with severely.”
Having thrown down the gauntlet the minister maintained, “I have no regret, no remorse in ensuring we do what we have to in order to send a strong message the beach is ours and we can use it and bathe there anytime.”
Orange Limited and residents of Jennings are to meet on Thursday, May 24, to thrash out issues regarding beach access.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)