Barbados Windows To The Sea And Other Campaign Donations…

SOME YEARS AGO, upon this spot of land in Fitts Village, sat a tiny chattel house. In it lived a little old lady. To the left of the house was a view of the sea; to the right of the house was a view of the sea; over the shingle rooftop, a view of the sea. The little old lady was a faithful worshipper at St.James Parish Church. She took ill and called for a Reverend to administer Last Rites, or whatever. A Reverend trotted along to her bedside (false English accent and all). No doubt in his briefcase (or whatever Reverend fellows tote around) would have been documents galore relating to Windows To The Sea, for which donations were being requested for a fund to maintain windows to the sea in Barbados.

The little old lady died. Soon after that, the little chattel house was gone, and ….. BEHOLD! This is the mansion that sprang up in its place. ON A WINDOWS TO THE SEA! You want a view of the sea? Get a helicopter.

BFP Reader “ANON”

Barbados Free Press comments: Gosh, it is too bad that whoever that Reverend was that he was unable to convince the old lady to keep the Window to the Sea! 🙂


Filed under Barbados

74 responses to “Barbados Windows To The Sea And Other Campaign Donations…

  1. Michael

    Hi All

    As a person of Barbadian parentage, I cannot help but feel soo sad when I drive along the West Coast of my beautiful country, and see all of those huge buildings and boards advertising condo`s for sale, but with a contact sales office in London, or elsewhere. It is as if some organisation is saying to me, “look here you, I am claiming this view to the sea, because I can afford to, only I must have the pleasantness of Barbados, only I must wake up in the morning and see the sea, and the pleasure that it brings, because I have more money than you”.

    I understand that the country needs to earn foreign exchgange, but to whose expense. It is not racist, or otherwise to post these views, because surely, every Barbadian has the right to enjoy their island without being obstructed by these huge eyesores that are for the enjoyment of only those who can afford it.

  2. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    “Anon” – Thanks for this. It had to be said. This was the first of the oversized buildings allowed between Black Rock and Speightstown. Question? Allowed by whom? Now it seems Lilliputian when compared to some of the grotesque monsters raping (and ruining) the entire West Coast.

  3. marvinbareback

    When you drive along the West Coast, there are also many small chattel houses yet. Owned exclusively by Barbadians. If this is such a pressing national issue, why don’t the owners donate them or will them to the National Trust for the precious windows to the sea. The answer is because each one of them enjoys the protection that comes with individual property rights. You have the choice to do whatever you want with your property (within the context of the planning regulations). If a foreigner pays a much larger amount for beach land than a Barbadian would, the vendor has earned a bonus. Consider it reparations for slavery and get on with your lives. (now with a good deal of money in the bank so you can build a better house, buy a car and educate your children)

  4. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    marvinbareback – You appear not to care about “precious windows to the sea?” Pity.

    Following your flawed logic we’ll soon have a walled and gated compound running the entire length of the West Coast.

    With armed guards at all the gates and rabid dogs barking at locals daring to swim in daylight on what legally are “public” beaches but effectively aren’t any longer and at night roaming the compound protecting the condo apartments of the overseas owners who come here for a few weeks a year.

    And you still don’t care?

  5. Jerome Hinds

    Canon Andrew Hatch……swindled that poor old lady of her home & land !

    He did it under the pretext that he would preserve the area as a ” window to the sea ” !

    What the poor old lady did not realise is that Andrew Hatch was a remnant of the infamous
    ” Colonial Pouching ” class that ran amok throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere……..where COLONIALISM was en vogue !

  6. Michael

    Marvinbareback……….for your information, I do have a very good education (PhD level), drive a Porsche 911, and my children attend one of the best private schools in the United Kingdom, and I am just one of many black men of Barbadian heritage in a similar position that exist in this world.

    The problem here is that you are not thinking hard enough to even begin to understand exactly what I meant in my first posting, because you are blinded by your own ignorance.

    Its not as simple as that….the sad thing here is that there is no point even entering into a dialogue with you, because you simply wont get it!!

    Now if any persons who do get the point have anything to add, then perhaps we can have a sensible conversation, until then…..GOODBYE MARVINBAREBACK!!

  7. littleboy

    The missing part of this story is that the relatives took Rev Hatch to court and he was made to pay an additional amount for the property.

  8. happy

    Beating up on Father Hatch, is an prime example of the Barbadian problem.
    Ergo, “We can’t fix it, so we’ll criticize”. Wake-up Barbados…some areas in Barbados have a Master Plan…but most do not.
    Working towards a Master Urban Plan is your next step…Gov must hire a group (not local, but working with local groups to educate them) that can through understanding World Wide Trends in current & future development create value for all aspects of the economy…& saving or preserving what you cherish most…Windows to the Sea.
    But first l suggest you make sure you hold you Gov to their election promise of Integrity Legislation…because at the end of the day a Master Urban development plan will not hold water…without that safe guard….too much money involved.

  9. no name

    Michael, let me guess.

    You are the son of a Barbadian big up, politician, lawyer or judge. Your education was paid for through the lifelong hard work and sacrifice of somebody else (any colour) who thought they were working to improve their own family situation. Little did they know.

    Day runs until night catches it, in this case, night runs until day catches it.

  10. Michael

    no name….actually, no, my educaton was paid for through the hard work of my non big shot Barbadian parents, whose forefathers were brought to this land on slave ships, but for the hard work of these forefathers made Barbados a free nation, and liberated it in all other ways but economically…and it goes on and on… you see, Mr NoName, in this case day ran, and night followed, just like it has for billions of years!!…the difference is though, I actually want to see day, unobstructed by what money can buy!!

  11. no name

    Michael, I am glad that you are one of the few who rightfully benefited.

    Unfortunately, I am one of those whose forefathers came on the same slave ships and who watched others wrongfully benefit from my families’ hard work and sacrifice.

    I too am saddened by what has happened to my country.

  12. West coast dreaming

    Mr NoName, in this case day ran, and night followed, just like it has for billions of years!!…the difference is though, I actually want to see day, unobstructed by what money can buy!!
    Powerful and well said.

  13. Resident of a glass house.

    For what a Porche 911 cost in Barbados (not to mention the cost of one the best private schools in the UK) at least one window to the sea for the public could have been purchased.

  14. Michael

    Actually, I have bought several windows to the sea, and members of my family own several others, and they are definately NOT FOR SALE…regardless of price!!

  15. Resident of a glass house.

    So Michael
    So you are just against the height of the buildings obstructing your view as you drive along the coast.

    Can I walk across your window-to-the-sea at my leisure?

  16. Michael

    Well Resident of a Glass House, you see, I am against anyone, Barbadian or otherwise building large blocks of concrete jungles, and hogging the beach for their own selfish benefit, and then charging top dollar, which in effect rules out the majority of the people whose forefathers fought to liberate that land. I believe that public beaches belong to all that are legally entitled to enjoy it. Why should the views or access to the beaches be obstructed by greed and selfishness?

    And ask for you walking across my window to the sea, if you are female, then as long as you wear a bikini, then yes!!, and I wont even charge you…..

  17. Resident of a glass house.

    Ah Michael

    Given that I am male (certainly will not wear a bikini) and of modest financial means, access to the beaches of Barbados will be increasingly reserved to Porche driving, Phd’s whose children are schooled in the UK.

    so as to your question “Why should the views or access to the beaches be obstructed by greed and selfishness?” I surmise that you are in the best position to provide an answer. However should you be at a loss then Mathew 7: Verses 3 – 5 may be good place to start.

  18. Michael

    People that live in a glass houses shall not through stones!!, so no stone throwing now. Your point is well said, but the verse that you refer to does not relate to me regardless of if I have made a success of my life, and proud of it.

  19. Michael

    by the way, I can spell “throw”…it was just a slip of my fatcat fingers!!

  20. no name

    Resident of a glass house, well said.

    Notice how many strangers to the truth are hanging out here these days? It is not difficult to spot them. I do not understand why they feel they must prevaricate?

  21. Resident of a glass house

    Michael as you row boat ashore,

    I spelt Matthew wrong so don’t sweat it. I don’t begrudge your success nor do I think you should not be proud of it. Anyway enough for today…cheers.

  22. while you’re all busy insulting each other,
    I’ll just let you know that I avoid driving along the West Coast unless I really need to get to some place.
    Pretty soon there will be no window to the sea along the South Coast either.
    Money talks, what about building codes, spacing between the “monster” buildings to allow access to the beach.
    Is nobodoy watching? issuing building codes? does anybody care?

  23. Deeze

    I have to say that I too am dissapointed to see the direction the island has gone. Nearly impossible for the average Bajan to own house and land. I too understand the need for foreign exchage, however to sell off your bithright is pretty sad. There must be some land use policy – oh that’s right, it goes to the highest bidder.

  24. rumboy

    I agree and if and when the sewage project starts, I don’t think that anyone will be driving along the west coast unless they have to. Does one realize that between Esso Black Rock and the bottom of Holders Hill there are absolutely no roads that can take you off.

  25. rumboy…..try Wanstead Drive

  26. Thistle

    No Name/Green Monkey/Sargeant(and others)
    YES, we have noticed how many “strangers to the truth” are hanging out here these days.

  27. Tell me Why

    rumboy…..try Wanstead Drive
    The issue is vehicular travel and not pathways.

  28. Bush Tea


    …also who else but idiots would allow such major development and changes in their most prized environment without an overall plan, and some long term objectives in mind?

    ..oops, sorry, I forgot about the 3S project.

    Personally I would solve the problem quite simply by changing the land tax rates to reflect the value of the properties to the country…. and beach properties would be valued such that the tax income could reflect their value to our tourism product.

    Suffice it to say that only Bill Gates and Ophra would be able to afford to live on windows to the sea….

  29. Lady Anon

    I know I am going to get lashes for this, but here goes.

    Many of the windows to the sea were owned by individuals. Many were simple chattel houses owned by individual, sometimes for generations.

    Then along comes a developer…offers the current owner of the chattel house US$5 million for the little plot that was in the family for years. The current owner would have worked all their life and never see US$5 million.

    So they sell.

    They take the money, and buy a good plot of land in St. George, where the wife (or husband), the children and the grand children can all get a plot when the time comes. Then a cousin comes and ask to rest a house on one of the spots. Then another, then a squatter.

    Next thing you know…the land is considered tenantry land, and you have to sell it to the same cousin at $2.50 a square foot…and everybody else who was just begging a lodging. You out, your children out, everybody out…except.

    It is up to the individual people to sell. Sometimes it is a question of selling because if the fellow on the left of you sells, and the fellow on the right of you sells, your property value will go up and you can’t afford the land tax anymore!

    As much as we will lose the windows, it is up to the individual to sell or not to sell.

  30. Thistle

    BFP: Did your spam filter grab my comment?


    BFP say

    got it back 4 u


  31. John

    Of course a property owner’s right to get the best price for his/her land is valid but that price depends on permissions and permissions are given by TCPO.

    TCPO follows a land use plan, aka the PDP, and the PDP is determined by what we want to see for our island.

    A plan that specifies windows to the sea means no permission for developments that block those windows which means no big price for the landowner.

    Now, if the PDP from 1991 is the valid PDP which GOB amd TCPO are following and it has been violated, seems to me ordinary citizens have a bone to pick with GOB and TCPO!!

    Perhaps even the developer is exposed for proceeding with a development which is contrary to the PDP which we the people of Barbnados bought into back in 1991!!

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    The developer can always pick his bone with GOB and TCPO for leading him/her down the garden path, kind of like Matthew Kerrins and the Splash Waterpark!!

  32. John

    The point I am making in my last comment (under moderation) is that the landowner gets a price for his/her land dependent on the permissions that exist.

    We empty headed nosey citizens determine those permissions through the PDP.

    Depending on what the PDP in force at the time said the landowner may have benefitted from the flouting of the law.

    It may well be the developer who sought the permissions, the GOB/TCPO who gave them and the landowner may all be a part of a conspiracy directed at circumventing due process.

    All parties may have to be called to account but it is for we empty headed nosey citizens to call the parties to account.

    Who knows, the same way we watched and fumed while condos went up and blocked the windows to the sea, we may also get to have another Hilton experience and others may get to watch and fume as they come down!!

    It is up to us and it may all be possible through due process!!

  33. Looking at the Sea

    While I do not agree with taking windows to the sea, I have my own, as at the moment I sit typing from my laptop on my desk at a window that looks out towards the Atlantic Ocean. I sit high atop my hill in the middle of the island and still have my window to the sea.

    I have said it before on other forums. The sea gives and the sea takes away.. As long as I have a public access, with a roadside park, I’m happy. My biggest problem is the little tiny government walkways to the sea with no parking for us local folk.

    oh well. Why not adopt a law like in Georgia. You have a house on the beach, it gets damaged in a storm, You cannot rebuild on that site, ever…

  34. The Truth

    Shame on you Andrew Hatch !!!!
    I know this story to be true.

  35. Jack Bowman

    It’s entirely legitimate for a government to regulate things. In fact, it’s part of the whole point of having a government.

    Denmark is unquestionably one of the most equitable and fairest countries on this planet. And its government regulates costal home-ownership. The reason is obvious. There are only about 5 million Danes on Earth, and in a completely free market the whole Danish coastline would be bought by Germans. There’s nothing wrong with Germans.

    But if I were a citizen or a government of a small and lovely state like Denmark or Barbados, it would be (at best) imprudent of me to neglect consideration of who exactly owned large stretches of my coastline. And if your neighbours have actually invaded you in the past, it’s clear why prudence is due.

    Governments have to regulate stuff. Only a fool would deny it. Governments have to decide what you can do with members of your family when they die. That’s not your decision. You can’t simply leave them in the living room in their favourite chair, because they are a public health hazard.

    And governments can and should regulate things that mean your rights (like, for example your property rights, as in Denmark) are sometimes superseded. There is a public good in such regulation.

    A couple of other things. First, it’s fascinating to watch inverted snobbery go into battle with absent-owner aspiration. And second, for those of you fixated with slave ships, my mother (this is completely true) came to the country in which I was born having spent much too much time in Theresienstadt and Sobibor. Which, of course, is supremely irrelevant to the matter of home ownership. Welcome to the new millennium, and all best wishes.

  36. no name

    Bear with us Jack Bowman. There is a slave ship visiting Barbados shores so we may be a bit over-emotional. This will pass.

  37. John

    Jack Bowman

    It’s entirely legitimate for a government to regulate things. In fact, it’s part of the whole point of having a government.

    … and Government is accountable to the people!!

    It needs to follow its own laws and should be expected to be taken to task if it breaks them.

    That way it remains legitimate.

  38. 3S

    It’s a free country and no-one can force anyone NOT to sell their own land.

    Keep on whining.

  39. Jack Bowman

    John quoted Jack Bowman:

    “It’s entirely legitimate for a government to regulate things. In fact, it’s part of the whole point of having a government.”
    And said:

    “… and Government is accountable to the people!!

    It needs to follow its own laws and should be expected to be taken to task if it breaks them.

    That way it remains legitimate.”


    John, on that my disagreement with you is zero. My agreement: total.

    In fact, if my memory serves me well, precisely the sentiment you express was said beautifully and unforgettably 232 years ago b y menhj of uncommon wisdom in a country not my own:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …

    Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    Good post from you. Thanks for it.

  40. Jack Bowman

    on April 7, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    had this to say: “It’s a free country and no-one can force anyone NOT to sell their own land.

    Keep on whining.”

    3S: are you sure you’ve been keeping up with the last couple of decades’ worth of international law?

    You’ve heard of “eminent domain” in the United States and so forth?

    You believe that Denmark isn’t a “free country” even though its government regulates coastal home-ownership?

    Governments are there, in part, to stop you and me from acting like idiots. To stop us from driving at 120 miles an hour through school districts. To stop us from putting all of our garbage on the neighbour’s property. And yes, if you have a certain country with a certain geography and a government with some actual balls, they’re there to make sure that the native-born citizens of that country don’t get walled into a sea-free ghetto. It’s their job, and if they don’t do it, then, as Mr Jefferson and his colleagues recognized almost three centuries ago:

    “it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish [that government], and to institute new
    government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect [the citizens’] safety and happiness.”

  41. Wry Mongoose

    Instead of agonising over windows-to-sea foregone, what are we doing about securing remaining vistas?

    While the current land prices that obtain on the west coast might prohibit GoB from purchasing – there are a number of lots on the south, south-east and east coast for which the ‘bell has not yet tolled’.

    Another far cheaper option – but one that has serious implication for individual property owners – is for the GoB to invoke greater coastal setback requirements for building. e.g. From 30m setback from undercut of cliff to 50 m setback from u.o.c.

    With the stroke of a pen, this would create a defacto moratorium most future development on the seaside of the coast road…

  42. Wry Mongoose

    Correction – the above should read e.g. From 10m (33ft) setback from undercut of cliff to 15m (50 ft) setback from u.o.c.

  43. Duppy Lizard

    I see that history has now being rewritten -Barbados was “liberated.” Barbadians are such hypocrites. Remove tourism and tourists from the equation and see how many Porsche’s can be purchased.

  44. John

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed … ”


    Jack Bowman

    If you go back in history and examine the backgrounds or the men who wrote these words you will find that many have origins right here in Barbados!!

    I believe the Charter which Barbadians signed in 1651, over a century earlier, contains the sentiment “No taxation without representation”.

    That was signed after bloodshed, although not nearly on the same scale.

    I suspect the Barbados experience served as the model for these men!!!

    Strange, but as far as I can determine, true!!

  45. John

    Here is a link to the Charter of Oistins.

    I maybe out one year, 1652 instead of 1651, but I will check.

  46. eureka

    The irony about this whole episode is that this same priest when he was a moderator on one of the call-in programmes always use to lament the fact that many of our windows-to-the-sea were being gobbled up by big business and yet he came along and did exactly the same.

    I guess you could say that he opted to get his own personal window-to-the-sea before all were lost. But this incident and many more occurring in this country and elsewhere ought to make persons more cognizant of the fact that the person who talks the talk isn’t necessarily your friend but rather the person that is willing to walk the walk is far more genuine than these loud-mouthed hypocrites.

  47. John

    Seems like a year makes a huge difference to my claim that the Barbados experience was the pattern for America.

    Check the comment in the link!! There was a treaty in America, Virginia, in 1651 which had the same sentiments.

    Suspect that the thinking in both Barbados and America in 1651/52 was the same where Government was concerned.

    That they had connections from early is clear.

    In the mid 1700’s George Washington had family here and visited them.

    We claim if it wasn’t for his visit here when he contracted and survived smallpox, he would have died with his men when they were afflicted in the war against the British!!

  48. marvinbareback

    I’m getting the feeling that many of the whiners are hoping that a Bajan Castro or Chavez is going to come along and take back some land to give to those that can’t afford it. (Shades of Mugabe even) People don’t seem to remember that land on the beach wasn’t overly expensive 10 to 20 years ago. Most Bajans I know chose not to live on the beach….too open to the public and the crime was bad in a lot of areas. Most of the bloggers here probably had the chance to buy some beachfront at some point. It’s just that now, with a new height restriction in effect, there are real dollars at stake now and the developers are putting down a lot of money to get a big return. Let’s not forget the amount of annual property tax that the government gets from 15 or 20 units on the same size of property they were formerly getting from just one owner. Rough math is that 2000 units will be done in 5-10 years. Most will pay a minimum of $10,000 and up for property tax annually. Call it 20 million in tax revenue from new condos alone, let alone all the inland development under construction. More customers for all the businesses and utilities in the entire island. The best thing Barbados has going for it is that people from all over want to enjoy the beauty and are willing to pay a lot of money to get their situation right. We should be extremely happy for that because if no one was coming to holiday or build a little place in the sun (returning nationals included) a lot of hard working Bajans wouldn’t be driving nice cars and living in decent homes.

  49. eureka

    Michael, 1st post,

    I want to concur with everything you said. I too find it distasteful to see what the west coast has degenerated into.

    I can remember bathing at Heywoods beach; attending picnics at Heywoods beach. There was a beach somewhere near Road View, where there was a popular night club called ‘booze and grub’ that had a predominance of coconut trees and a lovely passing view of the sea.

    All of those beaches are gone. And I don’t consider a little road that is barely wide enough for a bicycle to pass as access to the beach. Proper access needs a roadway that you can drive your car down to the beach like you can do at Brighton/Brandon beach.

    And we don’t need to mention the assassination of Batts Rock beach too. The next one that I am watching closely is the one right in front of Jordans’ Supermarket in Fitts Village. It won’t surprise me if that one soon disappears also.

    Oh by the way, my mom was telling me the other day that when she was a young woman and was courting my dad, they used to walk along Sandy Lane beach. This was before the hotel was built; she said to me that originally the road was close to the beach similar to how it is at Paynes bay. But after the hotel was built, the road was repositioned more inland.

  50. Hants

    Here is another reason why windows to the sea are desirable.

    What do you think Tourists would prefer. A drive a long a Sea wall made up of buildings or an occasional view of the sea as they drive along the West coast.

    It is not just us Bajans who want windows to the sea.

    Beach access is also a major problem for both locals and visitors.

    We need a comprehensive developement plan that includes windows and beach access.

    The problem we now have is that the remaining owners of beach land will now ask why Cheffette and not me?

  51. eureka


    I think you are missing the fundamental point expressed by Micheal and myself, which is: no one is talking about Barbadians commandeering the beaches for us alone. The general point is that all beaches should be open and accessible to all, not just a select few. it has absolutely nothing to do with Mugabe or Chavez.

  52. Hants

    “But after the hotel was built, the road was repositioned more inland.”

    Watch for more of the same when the Billionaire developers decide to build a new West Coast resort with 1000 plus rooms.

    This will go along great with the suggested Cruise terminal at the Cement plant property.


  53. John

    April 8, 2008 at 1:08 am

    People don’t seem to remember that land on the beach wasn’t overly expensive 10 to 20 years ago. Most Bajans I know chose not to live on the beach….too open to the public and the crime was bad in a lot of areas.

    I think there are other reasons why most Bajans don’t live on the beach.

    I think that most Bajans were involved in agriculture and the good agricultural land was inland. Those who lived on the beach got the poor land and had to make do with what they had .. and they did!!

    I have seen photos of Bath with canes to the sea, likewise many places on the West coast.

    Many were probably glad when they got an offer they could not refuse.

    Also, it was unhealty living “lowdown” where water bagged. Mosquitoes carried some pretty deadly diseases, still do. I was told that the British Army used to move troops from the Garrison to Gun Hill to avoid disease during the wet season.

    The beach was for vacation time. Families who could afford it rented beach houses in July and August.

    September was pushing it because the rains (possibly hurricanes) were coming then and children had to go back to school.

    … and then there is the Bajan’s natural abhorrence of the sea, ….. I know it very well!! “The sea has no back door”.

    Maybe it came from the trip over in the slave ship, maybe from being tied to the land for so long, I really do not know and cannot explain it.

    In a way this separation from the sea has led to the problems of sewage, reef destruction and the closing of windows to the sea.

    I think most Bajans don’t really care for the sea and the GOB can get away with murder where the granting of permissions to block it off by developing the shoreline is concerned. It doesn’t have to publish water quality data, … so it doesn’t.

    It is also made up of the same Bajans who really don’t give a damn about the sea.

    Some are terrified of it … like me!! They will never tell you so, but they are!!

    Tourists are transients and ear infections leave with them when they leave. They do not form a vote which the GOB needs to listen to. New ones come and go.

    Our markets have thus changed over time. In the long run we will exhaust them all, if we have not done so already.

    The caretakers of the qualities of our island the tourist values should be us Bajans but we really don’t care so the GOB gets little pressure to do the right thing, .. so it doesn’t.

    In the long run we suffer but we only think in terms of the short run.

    That is why I think tourism, for a while a major money earner, has serious limitations in this island in the long run.

    I don’t think it is possible to get the majority of Bajans to take it seriously because we don’t identify with the qualities which the tourist values.

    We mean the tourist no harm, just that we don’t really take to what the tourist takes to.

    In a way it is simple to understand why our island is being sold from under us. Others have discovered how to make money from it and our short term thinking … and we don’t really give a damn.

    It is sad really because Barbados was a paradise.

    I feel fortunate and blessed to have lived much of my life in a time when it was.

    Life goes on and we have to make the best of what we get.

    Hope I don’t sound too negative, just giving what I see day to day as I see it.

  54. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    marvinbareback – You say, “The best thing Barbados has going for it is that people from all over want to enjoy the beauty and are willing to pay a lot of money to get their situation right.”

    You obviously don’t come into contact with normal visitors who simply come here for a couple of weeks to enjoy some sun, sand and “whatever.”

    I do, and their most common complaint which used to be “poor service” is nowadays clearly “overbuilding.”

    It may take some time – and less than you appear to think – but the visitors will one-day stop coming when they don’t find the fragile “beauty” you so casually seem to take for granted.

    As proof just stop and look at the stretch of highway between Sandy Lane and Trents. Giant hoardings to hide construction sites for mammoth buildings that when completed will make us wish they’d kept the hoardings.

    Beauty can turn to ugly very quickly. And Barbados is turning to ugly. Don’t take my word for it. It’s the word most used by the visitors I work with every day.

  55. So Long

    Again I wonder how much of the money for sale of beach front properties comes to Barbados? As for the Four Seasons project, well maybe there was no window there in the first place.

  56. marvinbareback

    John, I get the point…..there is no question that low lying development (3 stories or less) helped make the coastline what it was. But the GOB chose to lift the height/density restriction so the natural thing that follows is development. Waterfront property is usually the most valuable in terms of places for people to live (especially non Bajans), this is an island after all. Thanks for the insight on how the people used to think of living near the sea…..I can see how a lot of that is still in existence today.
    KS, I see visitors all year round on a daily basis. A lot are more interested in looking at lovely homes being built for princely sums than they are at looking at broken down chattel houses with rusty palings all around (usually facing the road with nothing but their waste water pipes poking out towards the sea). The beach is there for all to enjoy but just because you can’t see it from the road doesn’t mean it isn’t still beautiful. Let’s hope the government keeps investing in good sea bathing access, like at Brandon’s where a lot of money has been spent upgrading public facilities.
    So Long, as for money staying in Barbados, if you really think it through, there are many ways that the money remains here. A unit is sold to a foreign entity but most of the money paid goes into material and labour to build it. Once finished, then it usually owned by someone who spends regular and annual maintenance, employs many in the service industry, the grocery stores, restaurants, taxis, etc. on an ongoing basis. It is just another gear in the economic engine and if you start scaring people away with protectionist legislation, that engine will cough and sputter and then all those young men working in construction will be out in the villages and everywhere else, getting up to no good because they can’t find work and need to feed their families……..employment in this sense is critical to our harmony here, both economic and social.

  57. John

    April 8, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    .. but if there is no sewage system to get rid of the sewage and transport it away from the sea and or purify it, then the very act of sea bathing which seems to be very important to some, becomes fraught with danger.

    The West Coast Sewage System was put on hold in order, it was claimed, to build Kensington Oval which may have one or two international matches this year!!

    …. and if it is easy to visualise what happens to the sea as a result of sewage, try thinking about what happens to the ground water as a result of the building inland.

    In either case, the result is predictable.

    The goose that laid the golden egg comes to mind!!

  58. caught

    How much a unit in your condominiums cost? Dont be selfish. Give me a hint on how to get piece of the condo action.

  59. Resident of a glass house

    There is an immediate need for the Government to institute a program of improving public access to the beaches on ALL coasts. This can be addressed by :

    1) Protection and maintenance of all present public beach access points.

    2) Where possible, enhancement of such present public access points through compulsory acquisition of adjoining/ nearby lands and appropriate civil works.

    3) Provision of new public access points to beaches.

    4) Planning permission on new developments being made contingent on public access being included in such developments. Notice of such public access points to be gazetted.

    5) A punitive tax on coastal properties which are either foreign owned or commercial or used for condominiums/ apartments (i.e occupied by more than one dwelling unit) or over some stipulated land area (say 10 000 sq ft). This tax would be to offset the cost of provision of beach access. This tax can be waived if beach access is provided to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner or some such designated authority. Such public access points must be gazetted.

    6) Increasing the set backs for new developments as well as increasing the width of what is considered public land i.e the distance from the high water mark should be increased.

    7) Public car parks at regular intervals can be built at convenient walking distances away from the coast.

    Of course such a programme should be part of a wider master plan for the coastal areas which should address other issues (over development, height restictions, traffic management, natural risk assessment and disaster response, sewage and other pollution, security, natural habitat and animal life protection etc). That said, this is my little contribution to the debate.

    To the naysayers that the foreign developers would object, it is my belief that they would actually welcome such a programme that provides for a stable social and economic environment (along with protection of the natural environment) on which their considerable investments depend. The main obstruction may ironically come from those few indisciplined Bajans (aided and abetted by the politicians) who are looking for the quick “easy” dollar.

    It would do Mr Thompson well to stay at home and provide leadership on these and other matters for which time is of the essence.

  60. Resident of a glass house

    We give a thought, think things through
    Type a few lines to add something new
    Then along it comes – moderation
    Oh how this can be a botheration!

  61. Curious

    I am just wondering… the present government promised alien landholding legislation and also promised that any proposal to subdivide agricultural land must be approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament. Incidentally however the PM was at Sandy Lane a few days ago and told developers that it was “business as usual”. Equally after announcing these policies in the throne speech and laying estimates parliament is now on recess for a little more than a month. In the meantime there are undoubtedly applications for subdivision before TCPO and undoubtedly non-nationals are busy buy west coast properties from their London sales offices. what happened to the promises.

  62. happy

    Resident of a Glass house….your last message was well drafted!!!!
    To your point on scaring off the development community…don’t worry, all are used to dealing with restrictions. What scares them is the unwritten rules and greedy politicians. In other parts of the world new developments are forced to side aside “Green Space” which in Barbados could translate to “Sea Space”. Inland developments could set aside park space on larger density developments.
    Turning Barbados into a Hilton Head,SC or gated community would have dire ramifications going forward…that is when the purchaser would baulk.

    Again Barbados needs a Master Plan…and the sooner the better…as some projects (other posters on this site have mentioned) on the West Coast are clearly taking advantage of the lack of rules….

    Again congrats on your posting…

  63. Resident of a glass house

    to Happy

    Glad that you agree
    Hope that like your name
    Others may see
    and likewise be the same.

  64. no name

    We should never forget that there is a Physical Development Plan and what it is suposed to do.

  65. John

    no name

    You must be clairvoyant.

    In today’s paper, a notice


    appears as if by magic.

    This was one of the last acts of O$A’s BLP after the Opposition DLP walked out last year before elections.

    No Opposition = No Debate

    I remember asking what the new Government would do with the PDP which was adopted by the BLP if they turned out to be DLP.

    Now we know!!

    It comes into force on 15th April 2008, that’s next week and does such things as legalising Greenland, Apes Hill, Westmoreland and the whole raft of illegal developments which took place since the last PDP of 1991.

    Business as usual!!

  66. John

    … and here is what a former Town Planner had to say back in 2006.

    Perhaps the relevant authorities mended their ways since then and everything is alright but then again, perhaps not.

    … at least they had no problem with Parliament!!

    GUEST COLUMN: Ardour gone astray

    Date December 03, 2006
    Brief GUEST COLUMN: Ardour gone astray

    The Physical Development Plan (amended 2003) for the island of Barbados, published as The Product Of The Environmental Management And Land Use Planning For Sustainable Development Project (sic) is best


    THE PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (amended 2003) for the island of Barbados, published as The Product Of The Environmental Management And Land Use Planning For Sustainable Development Project (sic) is best described by Marechal Bosquet’s remark on the Charge Of The Light Brigade – “C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre” (It is magnificent, but it is not war).

    The elaborate product advertised at $200 per copy for public information is presumptuously unauthorised. It is not the prescribed document required by law, specifically Sections 11 and 6 of the Town and Country Planning Act Cap 240. It gratuitously presumes a revision of the Town and Country Planning Act which is clearly not in the remit of proposals for amendment of the Development Plan according to the very act.

    No reference is made or consideration given to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry appointed to hear objections and representations submitted in writing to the minister responsible for Town Planning in respect of proposed alterations and additions to the Statutory Development Plan which is in operation since March 1977 and as amended in August 1991.

    The minister responsible for Town Planning is clearly liable to censure for omission to perform the duty to secure consistency and continuity in the framing and execution of a comprehensive policy for the use and development of all land in the island in accordance with provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act as existing law.

    The Development Plan, as the comprehensive land use and development policy, makes provision for:

    * defining sites of public works and purposes;

    * allocating predominant uses to all land of the island;

    * designating land subject to compulsory acquisition for public purposes;

    * describing areas of comprehensive development for specified purposes (including slum clearance and relocation of population and industry).

    The statutory procedure for alteration of and addition to this policy is prescribed in Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act. This appears to have been studiously ignored by the “Environmental Management and Land Use Planning for Sustainable Development Project” team.

    The report of the Chief Town Planner required by Section 11 of the act has been omitted as the basis for submission of proposals to the minister for amendment of the development plan.

    The legal status of the plan is clearly defined by reference to the Interpretation Act Cap 1 of the laws of Barbados, which describes a Statutory Instrument as a scheme made under an enactment and approved by resolution of the legislature.

    The enactment (as Town and Country Planning Act) defines development plan as prescribed by Sections 5 and 6 (including the second schedule) of the act. The advertised product of the Sustainable Development Project does not satisfy or conform to the provisions of existing law.

    The foregoing observations have been brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities who have failed to acknowledge or respond.

    * This article was submitted as a letter to the Editor. The Al Gilkes Column will return next week.

  67. Getting BYE

    TCP was run real well in the past which is why we are looking at bare block as we drive on the Platinum coast road. If someone didnt break a law what is ur problem with them. Take it up with the proper authority… who is capable of developing and enforcing codes to protect the coast line.

  68. Mathilde

    ahahaha very funny! in a not so funny way when you think about the issues. In London you cannot actually outright buy land, you get 50 year or more leases. I suggest we do the same with the land here, any foreigner who wants to own a chunk of the rock ( i wont say piece because the size of these monstrosities is ridiculous) can happily get a 50 year lease instead. that way the land remains in Barbadian hands (even if it is the Govt.) instead of what is happening now where it just gets passed on to other foreigners, each time rising in price…

  69. Getting BYE

    p.s. i not talking about stealing land from people just building to code

  70. Rumplestilskin


    Interesting. Furthermore, we do not only need a previously ‘released’ plan, even if it was in ‘proper’ form.

    We now need a whole NEW plan, to take into account present day conditions, including protection of agricultural land, zoning of tourism areas, industrial areas, alien landholding legislation, beach access, costline construction, residential area limitations etc etc.

    This can only be done by reviewing the status now and implementing asap.

    Policy decision do not take a year and a day, policy can be implemented immediately where urgent.

    It is critical that we address these issues mentioned in the paragraph above.

    We need to address these issues NOW.

    After all, as one example, our words for the past year and a half in respect of agrictural land are now coming home to roost, with the prices of importation increasing every day, whereas we should and need to be growing more of our own food, as we have stated repeatedly on this blog.



  71. Maat

    Why is it that most contributors talk about the view on the West Coast while driving?

    It is extremely difficult to drive along that rather narrow strip of road and enjoy the sea view. It is also a little sad that we think that a passing glimpse while traveling is enough to satisfy us.

    Life has become so hurried and remote that the sounds and smells, the feel and interaction of the coast are not what we have the time to experience.

    Many seem to want to have a drive by life, satisfied with windows not seeking vistas. Mainly because having the quality time to enjoy the vista takes away from their time earning the money that pays for the car, or the school or the holiday.

    Ever hear about the rich industrialist who went to a remote jungle village in a Land Rover to tell the locals to save the environment by not cutting down the trees for fire wood?.


  72. J

    The thing is so many of the buildings going up on the West Coast are sooo ugly. The size of the buildings are out of proportion to the size of the lots and there is not nearly enough green space on the properties. I can’t imagine who are buying those ugly places. In retrospect maybe we should have build on the land side of St. James and left the seaside as parkland, no buildings, no cars. Think of how lovely that would be, parkland, the shore and the sea. Alas too late. And yes before the original Sandy Lane Hotel was built in the 1950’s? the road was routed inland away from the sea. Driving from Holetown to Bridgetown the original road was on your right a several hundred yards before you reach the gates of the current hotel. I was born in St. James up the hill from the West coast as were my parents, and grandparents. I avoid the West coast now. Its just too ugly.

  73. John

    April 10, 2008 at 5:59 am
    The thing is so many of the buildings going up on the West Coast are sooo ugly. …………………………………………….. I was born in St. James up the hill from the West coast as were my parents, and grandparents. I avoid the West coast now. Its just too ugly.

    I avoid it too for this and many other reasons.

    What does this say about our architects??

    Maybe we need to send them back to school.

  74. bim

    the above article is greatly falsified….the same priest was told of the land by a fellow bajan and the priest did not swindle any old lady as you are suggesting. And… far as i know every bajan has the right to own beachfront land whether a priest, teacher, lawyer, farmer, etc.

    The land was left barren as a window to the sea for many years as the same priest tirelessly devoted himself to god, others and the island of Barbados.

    Also, why criticise someone that has done so much for this country? he was out there helping the communities, he was actually helping people and not just sitting on his ass complaining about issues. try blaming the town and country planning office that despite his consistent bothering refused to listen and continued to allow monstrous 4 and 5 storey buildings. and try blaming ourselves for allowing a government to continue while not addressing this issue which seems to be so dear to us.