Private Beaches In Barbados – Boulders At Almond Beach

Private Beaches Exist In Barbados – Even Though They Are Against The Law

Try this little experiment on a nice day… drive to the Port St. Charles condo development and park at the north end by the old rotten fishing boats and then walk south on the rocks under the pier to the “exclusive” waterfront club until you find yourself on the PRIVATE beach in front of the condos. Erect a sunshade on the sand, sit down, take out something to eat and put on the radio.

If you can get that done without securty coming to give you a rough time on the “private” beach, you will have done well.

The last time some of our friends did that they were harrassed and photographed by the condo staff. How dare Bajans walk over the boulders that had been strategically placed to prevent people in bare feet from getting to the condo’s beach!

With that in mind, we followed this little exchange on Barbados Free Press with great interest. Does anyone have more to add?

Hants Said…

Hants
March 11, 2009 at 4:19 pm 

Breaking news BFP. Tune in to Brass Tacks.
Boulders placed on beach in st. Peter by Hotel.
Dah beach is ????

Hants
March 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm 

I am so angry that I will take a time out because I do not want BFP to ban me. Investigate BFP.

Littleboy Replied…

littleboy
March 13, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Hants

I checked your “break-in news” about the boulders at Almond Beach.

Apparently the operations manager Chris Forbes gave instructions to block the south end so that jet ski operators could not launch their boats there. The excuse he used is that it is a turtle nesting site…but Almond Beach Village use that same area to take tables, chairs and other equipment across the SAME AREA that they refer to as a nesting site…

They even got two NCC rangers to tell the operators not to use that end, but the head of the Watersports Association took them on and they have had to reverse the decision.

Chris Forbes told the watersports head that he could bring the police the NCC or the Prime Minister he was not moving the boulders. But the youngster turn on the heat and he was forced to back off.

Nello Bynoe, who is one of the managers of Almond told a friend that he wanted to “…keep the jet ski fellows from ’bout there”

A few points to ponder here…in Jamaica where Chris Forbes comes from, beaches are private…maybe he should have been told that…

SOMEBODY SHOULD ALSO TELL HIM THAT WE RESPECT LAW AND ORDER HERE

I hear that the young man that he tried to block out is the son of the Barbados Tourism Authority’s deputy chairman…that young man’s father had similar problems to deal with years ago

ARE WE TURNING BACK THE CLOCK?

UPDATE from BFP…

Our friend Don Mitchell has an article up this week about the problems with beach access in Anguilla. Same issues. Of beaches being blocked by hotels and big money, Don says “I feel bad for the children. They will never be able to enjoy what we once had.”

Too true, Don. Too true.

Read the article at Don’s blog Corruption Free Anguilla: Shoal Bay West

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48 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Real Estate, Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

48 responses to “Private Beaches In Barbados – Boulders At Almond Beach

  1. This does not bode well for locals and tourists alike.

  2. iWatchya

    Until the GOB makes necessary beach access as a prerequisite for T&C approval.. this issue will always present itself.

    There are many “private” beaches in Barbados – these are beaches that have had their access cut off by private land owners.

    Only the government can change this trend.

    Note: Once you are below the “high water mark” the security cannot get you off the beach.

    As for the water-sports operators…. Ever tried having a quiet swim or snorkel on the West / South coast?

    They need to be more responsible about how they operate their watercraft and cut out harassment of bathers… maybe then people would view them in a better light and would be more inclined to negotiation.

  3. Red Lake Lassie

    iWatchya, I thought the law was not the highwater mark, I thought it extended past that?

    Does anyone know?

  4. Hants

    Beaches
    Thirty metre (30m) setback from high water mark for building construction:
     High Water Mark distance (to vegetation line, property boundary or fence, existing building line, sand dunes)

  5. Whistling Duck

    There are new boulders outside Batchelor Hall which is on the corner between Gliiter Bay and Queen’s Fort. I was told these boulders were put there about three weeks ago. During the high sea swells of the past week they have been nearly covered up but once the sand moves again it will make it much more difficult to walk round.

  6. Sundowner

    So not only can’t we easily access the West Coast, or see it from the road, we won’t be able to walk on it soon either.

  7. BUMBLEBEE

    If the ‘beach’ is part of private property, the owner can enforce his option if he wishes. Properties by the sea have a boundary. If the beach is beyond the boundary, it is public and anyone can go on it.

    I own a piece of land, on the sea. there is an area which is part of my property and it comprises beach and this area is private. there is also an area beyond my property boundary, which is also beach and is public.

    a landowner is entitled to allow people to trespass on his land, if he wishes to. He can also require people to get off, if he wishes to.

    You, BFP, own a piece of land up by the common and if anyone is on it and you wish to have them off, – you are entitled to enforce it.

  8. Hants

    My understanding is that the Highwater mark plus 30m(98.4ft) “belong to we”.

  9. Hants

    “Tourism Minister Richard Sealy says government has been approached by private interests about developing Long Beach Christ Church. ”

    “developments would have to be sensitive to not only the environmental peculiarities that this unique area is, one of only two Barbadian WETLANDS is right behind us but of course the social aspect too.

    Graeme Hall the 2nd.

  10. reality check

    Hants

    Long Beach Club or Chancery Lane wetland?

    My understanding is that one of the Abeds owns the Chancery Lane wetlands and adjacent lands and has been telling people for some time that he already has approval.

    Needless to say, there has been no dissemination of information to the neighbourhood, Environmental Impact Studies, Public meetings etc. Wonder who signed the approval or was he just spinning a line?

    The whole Planning process has no transparency and is subject to continued abuse.

  11. bystander

    The beach is completely public up to the highwater mark and just beyond.. don’t know the exact amout.. if someone sold you a piece of land in Barbados that has a little bit of beach on it, they are very wrong.. and you have spent your money foolishly.. if you are not in Barbados, you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. part of the law, check it out.

    it is more difficult to get to the beaches, primarily the west coast.. but we still do it.

    anyone up for a “day at the beach” in front of those condos?? just let me know.

  12. littleboy

    Lawyers here are afraid to publicly give a legal opinion on the high water mark. So too are the Coastal Zone Management unit.
    This rubbish has the potential to stir up unnecessary trouble. We need to settle this once and for all…hotels and some private beach land owners must be told without fear that the beach belong to all o’ we.

  13. J

    I’d be happy to buy Chris Forbes a one way ticket to Jamaica, and to escort him to the airport.

  14. J

    “Chris Forbes gave instructions to block the south end.. The excuse he used is that it is a turtle nesting site…”

    Turtles were nesting on Barbados for hundreds of thousands of years before Chris Forbes, so no they do not need his “protection”

    Turtles will continue to nest on Barbados for hundreds of thousands of years after Chris Forbes has gone to meet his maker, so no the turtles do not need his “protection”. If anything the turtles need to be protected from the Chris Forbes of this world.

    Since these beaches belong to we I bathe on Heywoods beach whenever I feel like it. If a security guard approaches I smile sweetly and say “I believe that this is a public beach” The guard goes away. Guards are unfortunately often very ignorant fellows who try to follow rules given to them by equally ignorant hoteliers.

    If the police show up smile sweetly and invite them to arrest you.

    They can’t because you are in a public place.

    Remember you do not need anybody’s permission to be in a public place.

  15. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    The beach, rather part or partial, rather it be the right of the property owner to provide access or restrict it, should not be just for a privilege few but for everyone to enjoy. It makes me mad to think that we allow ourselves to be so exploited so easily marginilized in the name of investment. And nothing upsets me more than foreigners controlling our prime beach front property or any other property, only for them to come and do as their please without restriction or an ounce of hinderance. Yet all the red tape measures and obstacles are put in the way of locals.

  16. crossroads

    anyone got 2 sticks of dynamite for them boulders?

  17. littleboy

    The police made Almond Beach Village move the boulders. Sad part is that Almond belongs to Barbados Shipping & Trading…oops that is no longer a Bajan company…Chris Forbes is a Jamaican man…Nello Bynoe is a Bajan…
    Caricom really working…but for whom???

  18. Hants

    Highwater mark plus 30 metres to property line.

    That is what it used to be. Some Hotel and Beachfront property owners have built Guard walls beyond their property lines.
    The trick has been to build Gabions and put massive boulders on the beach whenever the sea is rough.

    There has alo been massive beach erosion on the West Coast.

    To anyone with half a functioning brain, the laws relating to Beach properties must be revisited and changed to ensure that all the Beaches in Barbados remain public.

    Some parts of the West Coast have lost about 20metres of Beach over the last 30 years.

    Until the laws are changed I will sit on any beach in front of any hotel in Barbados if I choose to do so.The 30metre law applies.
    If I get arrested BFP will be the third to know.

  19. Hants

    I would also like to add that Bajans have been very considerate to Hotel and Beach front property owners over the years.

    Most of the time Bajans go on beaches away from hotels. They play beach cricket and soccer and enjoy themselves without going on Hotel beaches.

    This may have given some Hotel owners a feeling of “ownership”.

  20. Hants

    A $10 000 REWARD has been placed on the head of the assailant who attacked two Canadian tourists on Long Beach, Christ Church, last month.

  21. ChristChurchDude

    BFP,

    What is going on at the BTA. Perhaps your friend Adrian Loveridge could explain if the rumours that he and half of the BTA Board have been fired are true.

    We hear it is because certain Board members did not succumb to the wishes of the Board Chairman.

    Come on Adrian enquiring minds want to know.

  22. Mike Ashby

    There are no PRIVATE beaches in Barbados. No private ‘security’ can evict someone from a public place unless that individual is threatening the peace. It is time that Barbadians hold the government accountable for their actions, when those actions benefit foreign entities at the expense of local interest. We must force our leaders to disclose agreements by way of our courts if it is suspected that those agreements contain components that are contra to our laws. One of these issues that keeps popping up again and again is the question of access. No new development can willfully block a traditional beach access without providing a reasonable alternative.

    Again, there are NO legal PRIVATE beaches in Barbados. Anyone who is accosted or harassed in this manner should file a complaint with authorities and keep a record of those complaints for future civil action against the property owners and their representative (so-called security) joint and separate.

  23. Jack Bowman

    This story made me more angry than any other story on BFP in the year in which I’ve been a regular reader.

    I have a proposal, but first I must make full disclosure. I live in Barbados but I am not Bajan. I’m a pale person (completely and utterly pale; Celtic skin suffers acutely in Bajan sunshine) and I have to live here for a few years for work reasons. I’ll be gone by 2012.

    That’s the disclosure. Now the proposal …

    I think it’s time for a “Reclaim the Beach” campaign. The idea … we get a group of people together (could be 20, could be 30, could be any number above that) and for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon we go and sit on Almond Beach. Get the sun, enjoy the waves, sink a couple of Banks.

    I can’t carry more than four people in my car (apart from me), but if there’s enough interest, I hereby pledge to pay for a bus. And if there is even more interest, I hereby pledge to pay for two buses to get us to Almond Beach.

    If we need ladders to climb over rocks, I have a couple of ladders that we can use. People should bring shoes to climb over boulders (also a towel and something to drink; I suggest Banks).

    This stuff has GOT to stop. And it has to stop NOW. Let’s Reclaim the Beach.

    Folks, what do you say?

  24. Anonymous

    I’m in! Say the date and time and we will be there.

  25. Jack Bowman

    Thanks, Anon. But we need a few more if we’re going to make a proper impression. Do you have a big family?

    All welcome. My offer of the bus still stands if we can get a group. I can do this on my own, with my wife, but we’ll just be a couple of pale European people looking like we belong there. We don’t belong there. Bajans belong there.

  26. Mike Ashby

    I applaud you JB for the very direct approach you (and Anon and others???) are willing to take. But this is a creeping issue. By that I mean, you give them an inch, they take a yard and wait for you to respond. If you don’t, they take a mile and so on. To address this once and for all, you have to also take one (or three) bus rides to the BTA, the Hotel Association, the Real Estate companies that continue to sell this lie, and the community leaders. It is not the function of any hotel/resort to regulate commerce in Barbados,

    “Apparently the operations manager Chris Forbes gave instructions to block the south end so that jet ski operators could not launch their boats there.”

    This maybe true (or a lie) but this is not his (Almond Beach) responsibility, Again, let me state, THERE ARE NO PRIVATE BEACHES in Barbados (this is not the same as adjoining private property). What it does show however, is the incompetence way the government has sold out the entire south and west coasts to individuals willing to treat bajans as second-class citizens in their own country. I would like to ask every bajan reading this blog, what good is it to have Tiger Woods married at Sandy Lane and YOU cannot go on the beach?

  27. Jack Bowman

    Mike,

    First, I agree with you completely and I agree with both the spirit and the sentiment of your (unusually well written) post on BFP.

    Second, I’m really not sure that bus rides to the BTA and so forth a re what we need, most immediately, in this particular situation.

    You say yourself, quite rightly, “you give them an inch, they take a yard and wait for you to respond. If you don’t, they take a mile and so on.”

    I’m suggesting that we don’t give them an inch, and we stop them from taking a mile. I’m suggesting that we don’t give them even one tenth of an inch, and that they have to explain to us why they’re taking a mile.

    As I said in my original post, I’m a pale European who was sent to work for a few years. I’ll be gone in a few years. As the Americans say, I have no dog in this race.

    I have nothing at stake. In 2012 I’ll be living in Quito or Managua or Washington or Tegucigalpa.

    That said, it’s obvious that something should be done about this, and that it should be done now. I will pay for anybody who wants to spend Sunday afternoon on this beach.

    And if nobody responds, then it’s going to be hard for me not to conclude that you deserve to lose it. You lose it once, you lose it for ever.

  28. Hants

    Nobody can stop anyone from going on Sandy Lane beach. They can stop you from going on Sandy Lane property.

    Dah beach is we wun and we can guh dey anytime.

    I gine dey nex week an I gine tell wunna wha happen.

  29. Scheherez

    Good Luck! 😀

    Sandy Lane guards would shoot at you! They got guns, yah know!

  30. J

    My family has only ever lived in St. James since we were brought from West Africa. If THEY did not want us to live in St. James, then THEY should not have brought us here. We did not ask to come here, but now that we are here we are NOT leaving. We will never live anywhere else except in St. James. And I’d like to see the pale European (not you Jack) who can intimidate me in my own country (or theirs).

    I bathe at Sandy Lane beach whenever I feel like it (although of course Sandy Lane is NOT the best beach on the St. James coast, the drop-off is a bit steep, so it is NOT one of my favourites) and I will continue to do so for as long as I live, and in my family that is a life expectancy of 100 give or take a decade.

    The guard cannot and will not shoot me. If any guard approaches me in any public place he/she HAS to be polite to me. My response to foolishness is a cold “excuse me?” and then I go on with whatever I am doing. If he or she dares to approach me further I’ll let them know that they are free to call the police and any police person is free to arrest me if they have REASONABLE and PROBABLE cause to believe that I am about the break the law.

    I’ve never been arrested. And I know that I will NEVER be arrested.

    I am taking some Easter vacation once school’s out, and I’ll go and bathe on Sandy Lane beach just for bare sport.

    You can join me there any afternoon during the school vacation.

  31. Sir Bentwood Dick

    Well done me jolly little lass. Ignore nonsense and live as your right.

    So your a teacher by profession then?

    Enjoy your Easter seabaths!

  32. Sir Bentwood Dick

    Bollocks.

  33. Hants

    J enjoy “our” beach.

    I will be in Barbados in a few days and Sandy Lane beach will get a visit from me.

    de beach belong to we.

    BFP Marcus, Clive why don’t you do some investigative beach reporting?

  34. J

    Dear Sir Bentwood:

    I am a parent by profession, so I always take vacation with the little ones (who are not so little anymore)

    I also have a job. That is what I do for money.

  35. J

    Hants boy, I don’t know if Clive and Marcus will join me. I get a feeling that those fellows don’t like people like me.

  36. J

    And Hants even though you may not know who I am Clive, Marcus and the rest know exactly who I am. Just an ordinary Bajan who loves this place real bad.

  37. kiki

    tourism is like terrorism
    and so is murder of tourists / terrorists

  38. marvinbareback

    Crybaby bajans! there is no dispute over private beaches….it is always a total red herring. You can go wherever you like and you know it, but the crybabies love to stir the pot. I support people who put rocks on the beach to stop badly behave jetski animals…..you think that because Austin Husbands gets a title at the BTA that he became sweet? The man has criminal convictions for assaulting tourists and is one of the most foul-mouthed, racist idiots that ever lived. His son is probably a chip off the block. Does anyone on this blog know anything about the law as it pertains to jetskis? The law states clearly that jetskis can only approach the beach at under 5 knots from one hundred metres out and everyone who sees them knows they just drive like hell anywhere they damn please at top speed. They drive up on to the beach in excess of 20 knots to “park” their ride. If you dare challenge them about that while swimming with small children, then you better expect a torrent of abuse because that is their nature. Low class slobs who just want to do their own thing.

  39. J

    marvinbareback you do know that Austin’s wife, the yung man’s mother is Polish?

  40. J

    Dear Marvin:

    How can you support (in this instance) Jamaican “people who put rocks on the beach” [in Barbados] contrary to the laws of Barbados?

    Putting rocks on the beach is wrong AND unlawful

    Driving a jet ski through swimmers and up to the beach at high rate of speed is wrong AND unlawful.

    As we Bajans say 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

    If both parties are wrong, why can’t you say so?

  41. marvinbareback

    Fair enough, but remember one is a cause and the other is a reaction.

  42. marvinbareback

    does that have anything to do with anything?

  43. Hants

    @Marvinbareback

    I don’t think you have spent enough time on West Coast beaches to understand the extent to which property owners have tried to “block” the beaches.

    As a youngster, we had to deal with german sheppards attacking you and chasing you into the sea. Due to the accuracy of friends in the use of big rocks we eliminated the problem.

    We simply ignored those who asked us to leave their beach.

    I grew up on the West coast (22 years) and me and my darker brothers can enlighten you but I done wid dis.

    Barbados is a paradise and we must try to keep it that way

  44. marvinbareback

    Hants, I still live on a west coach beach and have done so for over 25 years. I know the shenanigans some try to pull but never get away with. For all the others who were guessing at the setbacks along the beach: properties own up to the high water mark but the owner cannot block the lateral access along the beach. As a general rule, a property owner can establish a vegetative barrier (i.e. plants, shrubs, etc.) that is 30 feet (not meters) from the high water mark. This can be reinforced with chain link fencing if so desired. However, one is not to use concrete block or bring in boulders etc. without consultation with the various agencies. In areas where the high water mark is on a cliff, this vegetative barrier can be 10 feet from the high water mark. Building setbacks are established by existing structures that have been there for a length of time determined by T&C or 1oo feet (30m) for undeveloped property.

  45. Mike Ashby

    Thank you marvinbareback, this is the kind of dialogue we’re striving for, not to characterize others as ‘crybabies’ when they want their voices heard. Your support for anyone erecting any type barrier on the beach was misguided but I think you know that. We can punish those violating the rules whether they are hotel owners or Jet Ski operators. Our primary interest is that the beaches remain accessible to everyone, tourists and locals alike.

    Jack,

    keep up the good works until you’re ready to leave, I sense you have a clear understanding about these things that will serve you well where ever you end up.

  46. 205

    The Town and Country Planing should be the final say on the issue when it comes to placing boulders along the coastline to prevent errosion, the beach should always be a public place as we do not have much to offer, the locals and tourist who visit these shores have our only true gem to enjoy.i have lived and worked on the west coast all my life and i am not pleased with the current events,the small craft pple need to be trained so they can get support from the law and public and the property owners need to understand that our laws need to be upheld, if we go to their country we would not be able to behave in the way some of them do here in our country, come on pple the coastline should be maintained be a free place for all to enjoy

  47. drewster

    I’ve had to put up with some property owners for years who seem to think that they own the beach in front their properties,the disrespect of the locals seems to be the norm even in the labour sector these pple come here to our country and laugh at our laws, even some police when they are called come and seem to take sides with the whites , this is our land and our tax $ pay for public servants and i would like them to start serving our country in a serious way, support locals when there is a problem with an employer who thinks that he or she can get away with being unfair and the ones who call the police to get pple off the beach from in front of their property.we need to stand united .pple like Austin Husbands have been out there a long time trying to put some kind of method to the madness of the way watersports could survive in a world of all inclusive and nowadays a very overpriced tourist market,the man put the wheels in motion for watersport opperators to stand up and be counted

  48. drewster

    The marathon that is held in December along the west coast has me wondering if they should introduce soca music at the olympics while the games are in progress, WOW!!!! the noise woke me up, most of my friends told me that they jumped out of bed to some very loud and unnessary music that was being played at an early hour of the morning now could the organisers please omit the music this year , trust me you do not need loud music to have a marathon, think of all the pple that you disturbed on that peaceful morning ,Hellllooo !!!!! we are trying to keep the noise down and you are not helping, noise polution is a big problem here and we need 2 do something about it