Lower House Passes Resolution Guaranteeing Beach Access For Residents

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Steadroy "Cutie" Benjamin, Attorney General

A Resolution passed in the Lower House of parliament on Tuesday will guarantee the rights of beach-goers.

This follows a decision of the Cabinet last week to compulsorily acquire a parcel of land at Jolly Harbaour to be used as beach access.

The resolution gives Government the authority to compulsorily acquire the parcel of land.

On Monday, vendors in the Jolly Harbour area protested, after they were denied access to the beach.

Attorney General  Steadroy Benjamin told parliament that those who deny access to beaches will be dealt with according to law.

“I want those persons who own properties on the beach to make certain that all time there is free, easy access to the beach.

“The beach belongs to Antiguans and Babudans and once they are plying their trade lawfully you have no right to interfere with them on the beach.

“If you do that then the full force of the law will be used to put an end to your discrimination,”  he said.

Meanwhile, Housing Minister and Minister with responsibility for the Development Control Authority (DCA) Maria Bird-Browne says Monday’s developments at Jolly Harbour were unfortunate.

Were it not for the swift action of the DCA in getting the gate unlocked, and the intervention of the Police, things would have escalated further than they did, Bird-Browne says.

 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Very pleased to hear this!

    Tourism makes this country, and the natives should be able to enjoy free access to every beach on the island without restriction. Locals enjoying the beach don’t interfere with tourists, but there should be the opportunity for interaction at all times. This is what makes Antigua!

    • Beach vendors cause crime on Antigua’s beaches. We need to ban commercial activity on beaches ASAP!

    • Well said. Antigua belong to Antiguans. They should have access to all the beaches. How does this sound. Antigua has 365 beaches but locals have access to only 10 of them. Does this sound right.

  2. I’m curious. What about the numerous properties that have barred access to the beach, such as the fence by Dove Cove or the numerous properties that fence in the beach like Mystic Bar right next door to Dove Cove? Maybe it’s time to get rid of all of the businesses that sit squarely on our beaches.

    • Beach vendors are engaging in commercial activity. Commercial activity on a beach isn’t a constitutional right. Many of these ‘beach vendors’ are thieves.

  3. It’s about time! However, I hope that the ammendment includes, space for parking as well, and not just access.
    The next question is, was the “High Water Mark,” issue addressed too?

  4. Many of these ‘beach vendors’ have criminal history in their backgrounds. Many are illegal immigrants from Jamaica and Haiti. Why would our government be protecting their rights at our citizens expense?

  5. I always thought there were laws on the books in regards to beach access in Antigua and Barbuda.So what happened to that hasty Parliament procedures yesterday,Tuesday.Was it just for show?Did the Circus come to town.Those vendors did not have an issue in the past.Until the BIG DAWG built his fortress on that Beach.Now they went to Parliament braying like donkeys all of a sudden.

    MANY OF THOSE VENDORS ARE NATIONALS.NO ONE HAS THE RIGHTS TO TELL THEM THEY CANNOT WALK THE BEACH AND SELL THEIR WARES.NO DARN ONE,A DEY THEM BARN.

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