A number of property owners at Enterprise, Christ Church are pushing for a halt to the construction of a four-storey apartment hotel being erected in their residential district.
The Barbados High Court has already issued an order to the developers –– Accra Beach Limited –– restraining it from carrying out building operations and/or construction works at the site on Enterprise Beach Road during specified hours until judgment or further notice.
The ruling, dated December 20, 2016 was handed down by Justice William Chandler, following legal action taken by Little Arches Hotel Inc and other property owners Hamilton Henderson and Patrick Frost.
The court has directed Accra Beach Hotel Limited, Seale Construction & Equipment Rentals Inc, Suresh Monickorja and Basil Seale not to carry work any time before 8:30 a.m. or after 5 p.m. on Sundays or bank holidays.
The developers are also restrained from working on Saturdays before 8:30 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
However, they are permitted to work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on one Saturday a month up to June 2017, providing they give the claimants eight days’ notice.
Frost was upset that developer Kenneth Charles, who owns Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, had proceeded with the project in a place “that was not right” for such a major undertaking.
“I, like others, formally objected to the construction of the four-storey apartment hotel on Enterprise Beach Road. The main ground was the undesirability of changing the use of a relatively small plot of land in a predominantly residential area on a road that is a cul-de-sac,” Frost told Barbados TODAY Tuesday morning, adding that the popularity of the beach would also affect traffic and parking.
He clearly held no brief for the developer, describing his actions towards neighbouring property owners as “less than perfect”, while contending that this was the reason they had obtained the court order restricting the hours of work.
Frost said two other landowners in the area who had applied for permission to construct buildings of similar height for accommodation purposes had their applications turned down because “the mass and scale of the proposals were incompatible with the character of the area, and the height of the building would be unjurious to the visual amenity of the immediate area”.
Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins refused to comment on the issue. However, Frost charged that the Town Planning Department was being inconsistent when it approved the application for the 40-plus room hotel.
Frost, who does not live in the area but rents his property, also said there were serious implications for property owners in Barbados, arising from what the developer was actually constructing.
He raised questions about the positioning of a water storage tank that was being installed, and walls that had to be erected.
“These walls are the outer limits of the basement of the building which will be an underground car park. They thus provide support for its roof which will be used as the driveway around the hotel. Part of one wall are above the ground level of an adjoining property,” the retired trade unionist told Barbados TODAY.
Meantime, the owners of the residential-type property Little Arches Hotel said they had been adversely impacted by the construction work.
The hotel, which is marketed as a quiet get away, has already suffered an undisclosed number of cancellations due to the work, they said.
“What we are concerned about is the long-term impact of such a large project. It is not in keeping with the neighbourhood . . . how it is going to impact Miami Beach. It is so much a local beach which we absolutely love. It is really very upsetting to have a project of this magnitude to have been allowed in a residential area,” General Manager Sandra Edwards said.
When contacted, General Manager of Accra Beach Hotel Suresh Monickoraja said he could not comment at this stage because he was entertaining guests. However, Monickoraja, who also acts as agent for Charles, said he would be prepared to discuss the matter Wednesday.