August 31, 2016
The Honourable Freundel Stuart
Prime Minister of Barbados
THE PROPOSED BUILDING OF THE HYATT HOTEL
I write to inform you that members of the Barbados Lobby are standing in solidarity with Mr. David Comissiong in protesting the building of the Hyatt Hotel on Carlisle Bay, Bay Street, St. Michael.
The group is of the opinion that while there may be economic benefits to be derived from the building of a hotel at that locale, it will be at the horrific cost of disrupting the highly valued recreational space that the beach has become for the Barbadian public. In a densely populated Bridgetown, Carlisle Bay is one of the few remaining open places except for Queens Park and the Garrison Savannah where hundreds of people each week can freely gather for socialization, rest, vigorous exercise and recreation. We are of the strong conviction that the area should be turned into a window to the sea.
It must have taken considerable time and effort for Bridgetown to achieve its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is therefore confusing why Mr. Mark Maloney of Vision Developments did not see it fit to follow the guidelines that already exist, given the historic designation of the area.
One wonders how an increase in traffic congestion due to the location of the hotel on this site will be handled. This alone may be a primary reason why the hotel should not be built on this site. A more suitable location for this hotel should be sought.
Our concerns for the environment are grave. We do not know what effect the building a hotel of that proposed size will have on the environment since no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been done. What we do know is that this beach is relatively new; leading some to speculate that it may not be wise to proceed without that assessment. We can also question what impact this will have on the coastline.
We are also concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding this project. Your manifesto promises to the people of Barbados regarding transparency are in danger of yet again not being honoured. We have been informed that to date, the people who live in the surrounding area where the proposed hotel is to be built have not been consulted.
We have been disappointed by the role played by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Tourism with regards to this matter. How could the Minister of Tourism participate in a signing ceremony for the building of this proposed hotel when no permission was given by the Town and Country Planning Department? To add insult to injury, we were lost for words when the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the Minister of Finance went into the people’s House of Parliament and lied to the entire population of Barbados that building permission had been granted. We can only expect that you will not take this lightly and that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken by you.
Each and every Barbadian is called to be “a strict guardian of our heritage” and a “craftsmen of our fate” on this little rock and must leave our island in the best possible position for future generations to have and enjoy. We must never be made to feel that we are trespassing in our own country.
We are therefore appealing to you to act in the best interest of Barbadians and deny building permission for the Hyatt Hotel at the proposed at Carlisle Bay location.