Parks Commissioner sends forceful message to business owners

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The actions of one business owner who operates in the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park has come in for sharp rebuke from the management of the Park.

“Too often we have to remind business owners that they are obliged to operate within the framework of the laws that establish the National Park,” lamented the Parks Commissioner Ann Marie Martin.

The office of the National Parks received a call late Friday afternoon bringing its attention to the violation to Park regulations.

The Parks Commissioner and members of her management team visited the property of Colibri on Dockyard Drive where the business operator was observed directing backhoe operations in excavating a sidewalk, where some 4-6 inches of material were removed.   The same business owner has in the past violated the Park’s building regulation.   The Parks is also presently  investigating whether he has expanded his restaurant business on Crown land.

Section 5 (2) a of the Park regulations of 2012 is clear and unambiguous in outlining the list of activities which require the written permission of the National Parks Authority.  

“The said gentleman however went ahead with the clearing work without the slightest effort to consult or seek the permission of the National Park. When you do things without consulting, you run the very real risk of doing more harm than good,” Mrs. Martin pointed out.

“We are dealing with these instances too often and it suggests there is a blatant disregard for the law and a disrespect of process by some of these business owners,” Mrs. Martin charged. “

“Of course we welcome businesses and visitors to the area. But the regulations of the park are clear. I am quite certain this is not the way they operate in the countries from where they come. We certainly will not tolerate it here. They are not above the law,” she stated.

Some months ago, the NPA cooperated with the Development Control Authority to halt work on the construction of a plunge pool at a home within the confines of the park because of its proximity to the coastline.

“Based on our study, research and plans for the park, as is our mandate, it only makes sense that you seek the permission of the NPA office before undertaking any work that involves changes to the physical landscape. To do otherwise is showing shameful contempt of our laws and we are viewing this very strongly,” she warned.

Work has since been halted on the activity and the National Parks Authority will be pursuing the necessary action against the business operator for the open violation of Park regulations.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. ANR now that is a comprehensive report. This article must be the standard going forward. All the boxes are ticked.

  2. If they don’t have respect for our laws then they have no right operating a business here. Fine then heavily and even jail them. Maybe then they will learn. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    • The man was trying to fix the front of his property. Antigua would be a beautiful place if everyone had as much pride.

  3. Broken the rules before, and felt they could go ahead without authority? I sense a hefty fine coming their way!!!

  4. Who is that “owner” who thinks that he can DEFY the law?? Such a person seems to be used to getting their own way and thinking they are “in control” of it all. What a rude awakening life itself will give him. This is bigger than National Parks. The dude clearly has a MINDSET issue.

  5. What about Yida? They continue to destroy the mangrove and marine habitat and the so called “powers” don’t do a thing to protect that area.

  6. Looks as though he was doing a favor by fixing the appalling sidewalks that line the streets of English Harbour, certainly something the National Parks has not done! Thank you Mr Businessman for trying to improve the community!

  7. I will be looking forward to a follow up story very shortly on the actions that will be taken against this repeat offender. An example should be made of him if in fact the article is accurate.

  8. It appears he was clearing a gully. What about the huge ugly buildings and hotels built on historical land in the park? It seems more and more money talks in Antigua.

  9. Maybe, just maybe he has gotten fed up with the continuous stench and mess from the dirty gutters at the entrance to his property, maybe if NPA observed these dirty green slime filled gutters and regulated the situation themselves, he would not have had to do the job himself? No one likes to ruin a good pair of shoes stepping in stinky sh1t before going out for a delicious meal. Season is fast approaching, let’s get the place cleaned up properly and all the outstanding mess cleaned up now. This season is going to be important to us all.

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