Members of the public will not be denied access to the beach at Buccament when construction of the multi-million dollar Sandals resort is completed.
On Friday September 8 during a tour of the Sandals project by government officials and the media, Regional Project Director of Sandals International Terence Des Vignes said all beaches in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are public and Sandals resorts follow these policies wherever the operate.
“There is not one private beach throughout our jurisdiction so it (Buccament) will be open to the public,” Des Vignes said.
He noted that the bridge that leads to the beach will be remodelled and guests at the resort will be invited to attend a monthly fish fry that will be held in Buccament.
Last month, access to two sections of the popular Buccament Bay beach was closed due to construction by Sandals. There was no public notice of the closure and persons turned up to the beach only to find that the access to the beach had been completely blocked and a sign erected. Up to press time, access to the beach was still blocked as the area is, for the time being, a construction site.
The regional project director noted that he has lived in some of the villas closest to the beach and has never had a problem with persons using the beach. He said he knows it will not be an issue with the guests.
“I see the granddad and grandma coming across the bridge and I think people will be more than happy to see local people using their beach and then be integrated in it so I don’t see a problem.”
Des Vignes added that the villas nearest the beach and those being constructed over the sea will all be “very high” from the high water mark and the beach so Sandals does not envisage a problem.
He said the resort will have, among other rooms, 93 luxury villas to accommodate the hotel’s luxury butler guests (highest category) and these villas will be finished at the end of January and the front villas, 11 of them, will have a private pool with the beach at the front.
Government officials attending last Friday’s tour included Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Minister of Tourism Carlos James and Parliamentary Representative for Central Leeward Orando Brewster.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) the law states that beaches are public areas and access should be freely given to persons wishing to use them. Also, public access should be provided to beaches which border private lands.
There are 20 Sandals and Beaches Resorts on 10 islands across the Caribbean: Jamaica, Antigua, St Lucia, Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, Curaçao, Turks & Caicos, and now St Vincent.