Boulders dumped on Indian Bay Beach spot
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December 11, 2009

Boulders dumped on Indian Bay Beach spot

by Dayle DaSilva 11.DEC.09

An amicable agreement has been reached regarding recent developments that have been taking place at the public access road at the entrance to the Indian Bay beach.{{more}}

This development came on Wednesday afternoon after officials from the Land and Surveys Department had wrapped up work at the site to determine the accuracy of the boundaries on the a property which adjoins the public access road.

According to Chief Surveyor Adolphus Ollivierre, he and Roger Casson, owner of the property, were to sit and work out the details to have the small portion of land reallocated for public use.

That meeting was expected to have taken place yesterday.

The agreement follows public outcry earlier this week, when residents and others who frequent the beach protested the fact that boulders had been placed along a portion of the road commonly used to facilitate the parking of vehicles.

Some irate persons at the scene on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week told SEARCHLIGHT that a trench and large boulders had been placed in the area commonly used for socializing.

Cathy Ann McDowall, who said she had been vending in the area for some time, said that she has had to resort to selling out of her van and had since been forced to relocate to continue conducting business.

McDowall explained that she had been told some three weeks previously by Casson that she was intruding and needed to move. She said that when she came to the spot on Monday of this week, she saw that work had begun.

“The land belongs to the public,” Osley Baptiste, a resident in the area for some 35 years, told SEARCHLIGHT.

A member of the Indian Heritage Foundation, Baptiste further explained that the beach had some historical significance for him in that his ancestors landed there and he was adamant that the public access road needed to be preserved.

“It’s a shame that someone can come and do this and deprive the public,” Baptiste said.

Another resident expressed his dissatisfaction saying that it was the norm for the beach to be frequented by retirees during the early hours of the morning.

“This is not right. We need someone to come down here and make it right,” the resident said.

“The man just destroy everything,” he continued.

Basil Weekes, a returning national and one of the more vocal opponents to the action, said that he believes the owner of the property should be more humane in the decision taken.

Persons called for the authorities to take action and for there to be the proper placement of facilities for tourists and locals.

“What we would like is for work to stop and government to purchase the piece of land to be developed for tourism,” Baptiste said.

However, Casson, who does not reside in St Vincent, told SEARCHLIGHT that he had been making proposals for the enhancement of the area from as far back as 1985.

“This is something I have been trying to do for years,” he contended, adding that he had received the relevant authorization to proceed with the project.

“Since I haven’t heard anything, I just decided I’ve had enough of this nonsense and I am getting on with it,” Casson continued.

He also cleared the air saying that there was never any intention to block the access road.

“I came and I met a mess – garbage and confusion,” he said.

“I am fed up, so I am doing my own thing.”

Casson admitted that he had not spoken with the relevant tourism authorities, but instead spoke with members of the Rotary Club to initiate a beautification and restoration project.

He said that he had for years been trying to get the authorities to erect a wall to accommodate washroom facilities, a security hut and the installation of proper lighting.

“I just want to get the area cleaned up. I don’t see what the issue is,” Casson explained.

He added that the wooded area had been a haven for individuals bent on committing crimes and that his property was being used as a public restroom.

Casson had the support of some residents, one such being Marlon Mills, who said that in light of all that had been taking place in the area, including sexual assaults and robberies, persons accessing the beach needed to be safe.

“I don’t think Mr Casson should be chastised for what he is doing,” Mills said, adding that it was the authorities’ responsibility to protect and provide facilities for persons accessing the beach.

In the meantime, when contacted, Anthony Bowman of the Physical Planning Department, told SEARCHLIGHT that it is in keeping with regulations that developers put in writing any plans for construction.

However, developers need not seek permission for the erection of a wall no greater than 6 feet, which was the situation in Casson’s case.