A decision could soon be made on the first phase of the building of islands off the shores of Barbados, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey has revealed.
But he has given the assurance that residents will have a say in the planned development and that the beaches would remain public.
“It was mentioned about the building out at sea. We are about to do that.
“I am actually expecting to have in my hands, the report on phase one B of the islands by the end of March, and to have a conversation with Barbados about what that should look like,” Humphrey said.
He told Parliament on Tuesday, as he debated a resolution for the acquisition of land in Harrismith, St Philip: “The Government of Barbados does not intend to carry any debt for this.
“We are working with persons who would build out the island so that the debt becomes that person’s, and it must be clear that any beach associated with the islands remain the property of Barbados.
‘There are no private beaches in the plan, period”.
Humphrey also reiterated his plan to introduce tougher laws to govern jet ski operators, adding that other operators who disregarded the rules including those who rent beach chairs, would soon be made to feel the weight of the law.
Humphrey explained that there were increasing complaints about the state of the island’s beaches, singling out one complaint about the chairs along the Carlisle Bay area, which he said were hindering people from jogging freely.
Humphrey said there were still some people who “have come to the misunderstanding that they own to the high water mark and the high water mark means everything. Therefore you cannot now run on the beach and you can hardly pass”.
“It has to stop,” said Humphrey.
“The NCC has regulation where people have to apply and get permission, whether you think you own the spot or not. People can’t even access the beach. People can’t even get into the water. It does not make sense,” he insisted.
“There has to be a whole set of regulation that has to come to that whole area including the jet ski men and the small craft operators who carry out your children on party boats and don’t have any kind of training at all.
“So there is a whole set of regulations that must come to that aspect of life,” he said, without giving an indication how soon the intended laws would be put in place.