Barbados Cove Bay Developers ask for your comments and understanding

Property Developers concerned about Bajan Public: AND THEY SHOULD BE

There’s quite a fuss going on in Barbados over the proposed development of Cove Bay. Bajans have had as much as they can take of developers waltzing onto the island, wining and dining some government officials and then doing whatever the hell they want to do with our precious natural heritage.

With the help of corrupt and inept government officials, developers have walled off much of the West Coast and restricted access to the sea and beaches. With the help of government officials who let them build without deep enough pockets and with no guarantees or deposits, some developers have left unfinished disasters that blot the landscape.

By the law of Barbados, Bajans are supposed to have unrestricted access to the sea and beaches but that’s not the way it’s worked out and we’re plenty vexed about that and we’re not going to tek it any longer. No Sir.

Oh, we’ve also had enough of the developers hiring “consultants” who turn out to be related in some way to public officials. That’s another story for another day, but keep it in mind as you watch what happens at Cove Bay or any other project in Barbados.

The Cove Bay developers know they have a big problem with the public

The Cove Bay developers also know that Bajans are getting a little more militant when it comes to resisting irresponsible development.

Environmentally conscious citizens still remember the taste of a few small and large victories. For instance the abandoned Caribbean Splash Water Park was a big victory, and more recently a YouTube video forced Almond Resorts to acknowledge a problem with sewerage overflowing onto the roadway and down to the swimming area. (Have they fixed that yet? If not, we’ll soon hear about it!)

So the Cove Bay developers hired a big time public relations and campaign management firm out of Washington DC to… to what? To run interference? To “consult” with the public so they can say they consulted with the public and then do the hell what they want anyway?

Or, to be fair, perhaps the Cove Bay developers are good and responsible people who want to develop but do it properly in a manner that respects the land, the people, the culture and the environment.

And maybe they need your input and suggestions to see if the project can be modified or done in such a way where everybody can be happy and proud.

We’ll give them a chance. We’ll hear them out.

The Cove Bay PR firm “Mbox.com” put up a fancy website with fancy words about how much the developers value Bajan culture, lands and the “Bajan Soul” of the area. Yup. Fancy words. I wonder if the person who wrote those words ever spent any time at Cove Bay, or did they just breeze in and out to establish credibility before writing pretty well the same flavour of words they have written for other “difficult” populations and projects?

So they sent around a press release asking folks to please visit the Cove Bay website and read what they have to say and talk with them.

Okay. Fair enough. Here’s the some of the press release and then the link to go to the Cove Bay Barbados website to “participate in idea sharing”.

I think you owe it to Barbados and as a courtesy to the Cove Bay developers to visit the website and hear what they have to say.

March 17, 2011 – Media Alert

“We have owned the land at Cove Bay since 1970. For the past 41 years, we have loved Cove Bay as dearly as the visitors to and citizens of Barbados. It has always been our intent to involve Barbadians in the development of this land, to promote sustainability, environmental responsibility, and to create economic opportunities for the country. Cove Bay is an integral part of Barbados history and cultural landscape. We will honor both of these,” says Beth Myers, founder of BAJ Barbados.

BAJ Barbados invites the Barbadian community to participate in idea sharing to shape the development of the Cove Bay Site.

27 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Offshore Investments

27 responses to “Barbados Cove Bay Developers ask for your comments and understanding

  1. Here's my comment..

    LEAVE THE COVE BAY AREA ALONE

    Any development that happens there will soon become a great white elephant LOL
    so why waste your money? Have you nothing better to spend it on?
    Go help the Queen Elizabeth Hospital that you might sorely need one day

  2. Joseph Herbert

    Please read the statement below from the same developers regarding their ideas about how this project can benefit Bajans:

    “We are planning a very exciting project… we are actually hoping to enhance the area. One of the things that we actually want to do is to develop a little cottage industry of bikes,” sources involved in the project told Barbados TODAY.

    “We would have that be an industry where the people of St. Lucy would make the bikes and then we would have them on the property in racks and Bajan people could have a card that they buy for the year and they could come anytime and ride the bikes and the tourists could come as well”

    I find this insulting…if this is the best they can come up with they are clearly not interested in anything but making money. Please check out the links to the article quoted above as well as the link to the facebook group protesting the development.
    http://m.barbadostoday.bb/bbt/db_258712/contentdetail.htm;jsessionid=00A95903EC4E85A275CCB1E6BAF6CDAC?contentguid=mJxeC6cW&detailindex=0&pn=0&ps=4

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_130540117019677&ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity#!/home.php?sk=group_130540117019677&ap=1

  3. Joseph Herbert

    There will be a hike to raise awareness about the project this Sunday (March 20th) starting and ending at the old windmill at Cove Bay. A discussion about how we can protect this special area wil follow. We meet at 3:30 and it should be about 2 hours long. Please visit our facebook group for more information:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_130540117019677&ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity#!/event.php?eid=171163109597933

  4. J. Payne

    I blame both parties for non sufficient beach access. The Government is supposed to purchase these tracts of land (if need be) every mile or so that would remain property of the crown and would stretch from the edge of Highway 1 right down to the highwater mark. Barbadians shouldn’t have to depend on Hotel X or XYZ Resorts promising to allow the public stroll through their lobbies to get to the beach. Because very often it isn’t that str8 forward as going in one door and leaving out a next. You usually have to pass a bunch of stuff in the resort to reach the beach.

  5. J. Payne

    @LEAVE THE COVE BAY AREA ALONE, “so why waste your money? Have you nothing better to spend it on?
    Go help the Queen Elizabeth Hospital that you might sorely need one day”

    Or for that matter St. Joseph Hospital… I still ent hear nuffin with all the big talk proposed about it.

    Overseas interest in St. Joseph Hospital
    http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?NewsID=9726

  6. Karl Watson

    The Barbados National Trust is concerned about the proposed developments at Cove Bay. At this stage we cannot say more, as we are not in possession of precise plans so necessary to engage in an informed and constructive critique.
    However, in broad terms, since Cove Bay is so heavily used by all Barbadians, regardless of class or all the other stratified layers of our society, one could argue that it is a necessary lung. In this case, the late Colin Hudson’s dictum of “treading lightly” should apply.
    Karl Watson
    President
    Barbados National Trust

  7. bajandave

    Can’t we leave some of the more picturesque spots of land in Barbados unspoiled? Besides, with the real estate market not doing so great now, how well are all the recently completed and still pending condo projects faring and do we really need any more?

  8. Bajan George

    Karl Watson is being professional and respectful of the process. But I have seen this sort of thing before in other parts of the world. Local governments keep approving new development around a pristine beach or similar national geological treasure one by one.

    It comes down to local governments taking a stand even before the “application” and EIA show up. Either make it a national park or kiss the natural area goodbye. The Cove Bay PR people are very, very smart and they are playing the game to quell public opposition in advance. Take close note of the tracking done at the website and using social networking – they know the adage “keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer.” The people of Barbados are being set up.

    It’s truly unfortunate that Barbados has not followed a policy to acquire national treasures and build an evenly-distributed urban and rural national parks network around the island.

    The Cove Bay investment pointedly avoids existing and older developments that stand nearly empty and are sorely in need of rehabilitative investment. Perhaps the Cove Bay developers would be open to trading their land for an existing GEMS structure?

  9. Politically Tired

    Please leave this stunning area alone, its beautiful & unspoilt, we are gradually destroying everything on this Island that tourists come here for, as well as destroying the heritage for the following generations.

  10. Bajan Prince/Prince of Barbados/I LOVE BARBADOS!!!

    As one who has fallen in LOVE with my Island Paradise, I am outraged that consecutive governments have overseen the rapid exploitation and degradation of beautiful Barbados. For years, Barbados has been “sold to the highest bidder” with prime green space land cut up and divided among the rich. Out of greed and corruption, the Barbados environment has been left to suffer as elected governments relentlessly carried out backwater land development trends. As the “Gem of the Caribbean,” it is imperative that Barbados retain her natural and cultural old world charm for all to envy. We, in and out of Barbados, MUST ensure the preservation and protection of our island’s lush natural beauty. Without a comprehensive development plan and proper environmental management, Barbados will become another inauthentic and overdeveloped island. As a young adult, I am deeply saddened by the possibility that within the upcoming years my Beautiful island will be overdeveloped beyond recognition. Barbados is becoming too rapidly a place where outside influence has been allowed to negatively alter the natural and cultural landscape. Bajans must NOT stand idly by while the likes of the BLP and DLP governments continue to pillage this beautiful island! For years, since the birth of our nation, Barbados has been excelling ever forward in order to provide its people with a sustainable quality of life. Now, with monstrous developments encroaching on pristine coastal and interior lands, this same quality of life which Bajans have enjoyed for the past 44 plus years is now rapidly deteriorating. It won’t be long before Bajans wake up to an overcrowded, environmentally degraded, and excessively corrupt island which they will no longer be proud of. This island, our island, is precious indeed. We must not treat her as property as she was here before us and will continue to “live” long after us. We must not forget that we are not her only inhabitants and must ensure that her sea views, beaches, fields and hills are preserved and protected for our future. As PROUD Bajans it is our duty to promote the sensible and progressive development of our small island while still maintaining its integrity. We as citizens of this proud nation must finally recognize our faults and swiftly own up to our role as strict guardians of our heritage and firm craftsmen of our fate.

  11. Bajan Prince/Prince of Barbados/I LOVE BARBADOS!!!

    To: Karl Watson, President of The Barbados National Trust

    With all due respect Sir, it seems to me that all of you at the National Trust can do is talk. To be quite honest, I feel that if any organization or group can pressure our government it is The Barbados National Trust. Although the trust may be limited in power, it is quite unlikely that any permission would be hastily given to any development if the National Trust strongly voiced its opposition. On your organization’s website, it is states that you all are “pioneers in environmental conservation in Barbados” but yet to date you all haven’t overseen the conservation of the island’s major green spaces and areas of immense biodiversity (i.e. Graeme Hall, Long Beach, etc.) I hope you do not find me rude but the destruction of my BEAUTIFUL island severley ANGERS me!

    LONG LIVE BARBADOS!

    SAVE PARADISE!

  12. JustSayinBajan

    Karl Watson,
    I just saw an article in the March 18, 2011 edition of Barbadostoday.bb entitled, “Weeping For the Sisters.” The article states that the Barbados National Trust is weeping over the demolition of two historic buildings on Bay Street. It does not look to me like the Barbados National Trust is doing a very good job of preserving historic buildings in Barbados.

    You all always seem to show up after the fact and bemoan the loss of historic sites. Why don’t you all enlist help from wealthy developers like C.O. and Bizzy Williams and try to purchase and restore buildings before they are demolished? I have always thought that it is sad the way wealthy Barbadians like C.O. and Bizzy Williams spend time and money building new homes for foreigners but don’t try to restore historic properties.

    I have been to St. Augustine, Florida, a historic city in which many historic buildings have been restored. It is believed to be the oldest city in the United States. When you walk through the historic section of St. Augustine, you feel like you are back in time. Buildings have been restored to the way they were hundreds of years ago and people can tour many of them.

    I have often driven past historic buildings on Bay Street and throughout Bridgetown and shaken my head in sadness at the way those buildings are being allowed to fall down or be demolished. I have often thought that if those buildings were in the U.S., they would have been restored decades ago and tourists would be touring them.

    Oh well, It is what it is in Barbados. So sad.

    http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?referral=other&refresh=qD149zY0p03Q&PBID=87ad6005-1972-4d63-92b0-8927eda53c7a&skip=

  13. Easy Man

    Karl Watson was the man who convinced the Canadian to invest in Graeme Hall. I for one am grateful for that.

  14. ac

    To DEVELOPERS

    Hell NO! NO! NO! .

  15. Karl Watson

    Sadly, the view that “all the Barbados National Trust can do is talk” is held by many people, as is also the view that the Trust is composed largely of a body of aged, elitist, whitish do gooders who have nothing better to do with their time. An organisation such as the Trust can only be as effective as its membership allows it to be…I would like to see our membership triple. I hope that Bajan Prince and Just Say in Bajan are both members of the Trust…if not, I would invite them to join. The greater in number we are..the greater our influence. Yes, sometimes I think that we are too reactive, but in all fairness to the Trust, I should point out that we are an NGO with no legislative or policing powers. Also, the laws designed to protect our heritage are far too limited and hardly ever applied. The fines for knocking down important or listed buildings are ridiculously low. If a developer had to pay $500,000 instead of $500 for breaking the law in respect of our heritage, then they would think twice about sending in the bulldozers and instead engage in adaptive reuse. Even though there is a Bird Protection Act which has been in force for over 100 years, I do not know of one single case of an individual being prosecuted for killing a protected bird.
    The Trust has a good working relationship with the relevant authorities, especially the Chief Town Planners Office. We comment and give advice and sometimes that advice is considered and adopted. We bring the attention of pending heritage disasters to the relevant authorities. This we did most recently in the case of the proposed lighting system for night racing at the Garrison (the linch pin of our World Heritage application), the then imminent demolition of the Grotto on River Road and the situation of the “Three Sisters” on Bay Street. But the challenges come fast and furious. Cove Bay being but one of many pending developments.
    So yes, we accept and welcome criticism. We always strive to do better. We welcome help from any corner and in any form. Come to one of our Open House occasions (a programme which is the envy of our sister Caribbean islands and important component of our winter season tourist schedule)…on Open House day there are dozens of volunteers helping Bajans and adopted Bajans alike…all motivated by a strong love for this island we are privileged to call home. So here is my challenge to all who read this blog…join the Barbados National Trust…help us to save our natural and built heritage which is so vital to our worldview, our identity and our psychic well being and in addition helps to increase our foreign reserves.

  16. In denial

    Barbados is in environmental trouble.

    300,000 ppl (plus or minus a few thousand) are crowded onto an island INcapable of supporting such a number.

    100,000 would be a viable figure.
    We are 200% overpopulated.
    We are in denial about a number of such things

  17. John

    Singapore has a population of 4 million with a targetted growth to 6 million!!

    Singapore isn’t much larger than Barbados ……..buuuuuuut ……. Singapore is all about planning, Barbados is a joke.

  18. influential Trust

    If the the Barbados National Trust wants to be effective rather than a toothless respectful organization, then it has to start supporting green candidates who are credible and willing to take strong positions reflected in writing.

    Politics includes the environment and if you are willing to start a green coalition you might have a chance.

    Anything less is just more impotence.

    Watson get out your vote and sign people up!

  19. yatinkiteasy

    What ever happened to the much touted Merricks Development? They had a “soft” opening months ago, but I don`t believe anything has happened since.Thats another beautiful cove that is about to be spoiled by overseas owners.

  20. joyjoy

    Stop spoiling everything. There are other areas in Barbados that are abandoned and derilict that could do with redevelopment. Why head for the unspoilt areas all the time. I am disappointed with Kellman about this. There is no need to go to Cove Bay or River Bay do something else there must be other means of creating jobs here than mashing up the unspoilt areas.

  21. Bajan Prince/Prince of Barbados/I LOVE BARBADOS!!!

    To say that Barbados is the Western Hemiphere’s leading developing country is a joke! Even the world’s more developed and overdeveloped countries have laws protecting their natural environment. So whats the matter with Barbados? This little rock is already overpopulated! What land isn’t built up is used for agricultural purposes! Does the government realize that Barbados has few areas of a wild and unspoiled nature left? There is NO DOUBT that Barbados is BEAUTIFUL, but for how much longer? These third world land development trends need to be abandoned and a Barbados of active conservation needs to be encouraged. Barbados hasn’t been appreciated and she should be! Seriously, Bajans in and out of Barbados need to RISE UP! PROTESTS is today’s word!

    P.S. To Karl Watson, I would LOVE to join the National Trust but unfortunatley I do not live in Barbados and I feel that if I were to join from overseas, my involvement in the organization would limited.

  22. J. Payne

    @John. Barbados wastes a lot of time on this CARICOM experiment and hardly anytime on national development. Meanwhile, the rest of the CARICOM members placed almost all of their time on National development with little actual commitment to CARICOM. Barbados will find out when it is too late that CARICOM was a waste of time.

  23. MANJAK

    COVE BAY, THE THREE SISTERS AND the BNT

    It is rather so easy and opportunistic to hurl brickbats at Karl Watson and the Barbados National Trust (BNT). But we should be mature and politic enough to recognise that the Trust cobbled together by the late Ronald Tree, the Bajan political elite and their courtiers was never meant to be a quango of serious clout to protect Bajan heritage. The politicians meant it to be toothless. It was never to be an organisation to influence public policy on behalf of Bajans and help in the retention and care of the heritage our ancestors left us. The trust was created no doubt with the best of intentions, but it is an insignificant sham. This is a truism that the BNT surely recognise.

    Karl Watson and his worthy colleagues must by all accounts be given the highest respect for what they have been able to achieve over the past years despite the restrictions imposed upon them by the big belly third rate politricksters who populate the talking shop in Heroes Square.

    With the active connivance of corrrupt politicians, a dysfunctioning and incompetent Town Planning Department managed by Mark Cummings who should of been sacked and replaced years ago we have been witness to the obscene destruction of the West Coast, demolition of slave huts, rich white property developers/landownerss behaving in the most contemptuous manner eg (Bjorn Bjerkman building barracades and fencing off black families in Road View/St.Peter), and the Williams brothers exploitation and crass concreting of fertile lands.

    The list of destruction of our Bajan legacy is a long one of anger, frustration and shame. Now the so called ‘three sisters’ on Bay Street and the beautiful Cove Bay in the north are under threat from those who have deep pockets and seek to make a fast buck, with no doubt corrupt politicians and greedy land agents in tow

    But we Bajans can put a stop to this vandalism.

    Outrage and anger have their place surely, but these must merely be the beginning. An autonomous campaign of opposition (letter writing/marches/leaflets/ pressure brought to bear on constituent MP’s/social networking/leaflets etc) that says to the government, Town Planning and all the politicians ENOUGH

    Let us not scapegoat the National Trust and Karl Watson because it is easy to do so, but be prepared to engage in a suggestion he made. Join them, increase the ranks, make them a stronger campaigning entity, so that in collaboration with others they can help to end the vandalism and destruction of our island home. The Trust no doubt was modelled on the British one and a surmise can be assumed that Karl wishes the Bajan one carried the political and social clout that Fiona Reynolds the Director General of the British National Trust weilds. We surely would have a different landscape from Oistins to the Animal Flower Cave.

    There is undoubtedly a battle to be waged for our island and we need to recognise and be cognisant that we are merely the present custodians for future generations. We dare not leave them a homeland that is no longer theirs.

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  27. Natural Born Rebel

    Thank you to the Barbados Government for prostituting my island to the highest bidder, for robbing me of what little I have left of my country that I can truly call my own, all for the sake of foreign investment. And last but by no means least, for depriving my children and grandchildren of any remnants that they can identify with as part of their culture.

    I can think of a quite a few places in Barbados that could use a serious facelift. What about Bridgetown? Kick out that ram, Ms. Ram. I don’t care if she owns (?) that piece of the rock or not. It looks like a shanty-town and I am always embarassed whenever I pass by the area.

    Beware Barbados Government, this might just turn around and bite you in the ass! By that time, it’ll be too late. I would think twice about investing in Barbados if I were a foreign investor. I can get more for my money elsewhere.

    Don’t have too many comments here. I’m already spent and winded from fighting for the East Coast.

    Until we meet again