ST JOHN’S, Antigua – St Phillips North Member of Parliament Robin Yearwood has said he has no regrets about his opposition to the construction of the world-famous Beaches Resort in his constituency, amidst reports that the development is in danger of being shifted to another Caribbean state.
“I would not have done nothing different,” Yearwood told OBSERVER Media in the wake of the announcement by Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell.
“It is not my position only. It’s the people that I represent and I have to follow instructions from my people. Long Bay has been there for the people of this area, for the people of Antigua & Barbuda for years and years and to go and take away their existing comfort – it could not be good for any government to even suggest that.”
A 400-room family-type resort valued at US $100 million was proposed for Long Bay by Gordon “Butch” Stewart, the hotel mogul behind the world-famous Sandals and Beaches brands.
Yearwood and others opposed its construction, primarily on the grounds that it would limit access to the public beach, a claim government refuted.
On Thursday, Minister Lovell told the Voice of the People programme that he has learnt that St Lucia and Barbados have approached Stewart about a similar project, and both countries have reported positive feedback.
He blamed the division within the country for the situation, stating that what is in the interest of a party may not be in the best interest of a country.
Less than a week ago, the Barbados Nation newspaper reported that Stewart – the chairman of Sandals Resorts International chain – was making overtures to acquire the 30-acre Almond Beach Village beachfront property in that country.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)