The developer of a four-storey apartment hotel under construction at Enterprise, Christ Church has come out swinging against three property owners who claimed the structure was “incompatible with the character of the area”.
The High Court has already issued an order to the developer, 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 a judgment or further notice.
Property owners Hamilton Henderson and Patrick Frost and Little Arches Hotel Inc had challenged the hotel construction mainly on the grounds that it was undesirable “to change the use of a relatively small plot of land in a predominantly residential area on a road that is a cul-de-sac”.
However, General Manager of Accra Beach Hotel Suresh Monickoraja, the agent for hotel owner Kenneth Charles, has sought to make it “abundantly” clear that the developers had acted lawfully.
“We are building according to the approved plan by Town & Country Planning [Department]. It is not like we are building something out of the ordinary; it is after the approved plan,” Monickoraja told Barbados TODAY.
His detractors had claimed that “the less than perfect actions” of the developer towards neighbouring property owners had forced them to obtain a court order imposing limitations and restrictions on the developer’s hours of work and other building-related activity in the residential area.
However, Monickoraja shifted the blame right back to the objectors, making particular mention of one, who he said was responsible for the present dispute.
In fact, Monickoraja said, had Trevor Kent sold his property to Accra, “none of this would have happened, and that [the 40 room apartment] would have been a much bigger structure. Now instead of building 40 rooms, we would be building 80 rooms”.
“Trevor Kent, which is the neighbour, came to us . . . in fact, in a written format, asked us to buy his property. When we offered a price, he refused, and he said it is too cheap. And then he clearly mentioned [with respect to the development] ‘I will get all the community against you. If nothing will work, I myself will build another hotel in there’. He himself is a developer,” the project agent said.
He said other than Little Arches Hotel, many of the other properties were little guest houses.
“What we are building is not big, It is small, slick and chic. It’s going to be one of a kind in that area and a fantastic product which will enhance further, the demographic of that area,” the Accra Beach Hotel boss added. He also argued that most of the residents in the community had welcomed the construction of the apartment hotel.
“They say it’s availability for workforce of the community. The vendors like it because they also have special income generated from the hotel,” he noted.
Barbados TODAY obtained a copy of the letter dated April 4, 2006, believed to have been written by developer Kent.
The letter, signed by Trevor Kent as managing director of Sunbuilders Limited stated in part: “Should you not have any interest in purchasing our property, we would naturally be forced to join those objecting to the project on environmental, density, parking and other grounds, as I am sure you can appreciate.” The correspondence went on: “Should your project overcome the objections and be approved, and should we not, as expected, have been able to sell our property in the interim, as construction takes place next door, we may be forced to duplicate the plans we have already used on another condominium project, and, piggy-backing on your project’s approval, endeavour to construct that same building on our property,” the letter continued.
Barbados TODAY could not immediately verify the authenticity of the letter.