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Paynes Bay beach access being blocked

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Paynes Bay beach access being blocked

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Residents at Payne’s Bay are hopping mad over what they see as a move to hinder beach access to one of the most popular open windows to the sea.
The arrival of a Bobcat and a huge truck, almost blocking the entrance, fuelled calls to the DAILY NATION from several beach operators, who said this was the second time in recent years that one of the nearby homeowners had tried to block the entrance.
As the operators vented their anger over the “pending closure”, tour guides dropped off over 150 tourists, who utilised the same path to gain access to the beach services. Sources said the pathway was not a National Conservation Commission-designated beach path.
“Look at all these tourists coming through here. Everyone uses this pathway to get to the beach, and now he come from all overseas to want to block this path,” said one irate beach operator.
The path, which is located next to the St James Condominiums, is one of two, but the other one is extremely small and those who use it have to squeeze through. Outside of those, the other entrance to the beach in that area is located about 100 metres away, near to The Sands.
“He doesn’t even live here, but yet every time he comes to the island he is looking for trouble,” another operator said as he surveyed the three-foot trench that now exposed badly damaged tree roots.
Timothy Moore, a fisherman who has lived in the area for over 50 years, said: “Years ago he tried to block the entrance from the top. Now here again he is trying to block it from the bottom.
“This can’t be right. This is the only access that everyone uses down here. If an ambulance needs to get to the beach this is where they come, when we catch fish or
 Continued on next page.when we need to haul up boats this is where we bring them through, so that can’t work. He can’t expect to come here and block off this entrance, it is totally unfair,” he lamented.
Glass bottom boat operator Ryan Blackett said he was not pleased about the situation either.
“I have my kids to feed and rent to pay. It can’t be fair for him to come all the way from overseas to make people here uncomfortable and to put us in a position to lose business. This is our livelihood that he is dealing with,” he stated.
Dug trench
The Bobcat operator who had dug the trench told the NATION that he was told to “dig a trench from the wall to the beginning of the side of the walkway, and that’s exactly what I did”.
However, with one cruise ship in the port yesterday, unsuspecting tour guides and tourists flocked to the area to get their fill of sun, sea and sand, while enjoying the glass bottom boat tours and jet ski rides.
When contacted, Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins said he could not comment since he was unaware of the situation. (CT)