Minister of the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey. (Picture by Reco Moore)
Barbadian beaches will remain open to residents and the blocking of them won’t be allowed, says Minister of Maritime Affairs Kirk Humphrey.
Yesterday he lashed out at those who attempted to block Barbadians from their tradition of open access to the sea shores.
“It must be made clear that any beach associated with the island remains the property of Barbadians. There ain’t [no] private beaches in the plan, period, period. So even as we talk about building out, this is important. People are coming to me as Minister of Maritime Affairs lamenting about the state of the beaches,” he told the House of Assembly during debating a resolution to compulsorily acquire lands at Harrismith, St Philip, for housing and tourism development.
He cited one complaint from a woman using the beach along the stretch that included Carlisle Bay, St Michael, who said she could not run straight along the shore.
“Because people have now come to the understanding or 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 . . . you could hardly pass.
“It has to stop. It has to stop . . . .The NCC [National Conservation Commission] has regulations that you have to apply and get permission whether you think you own the space or not. People can’t even access the beach; people can’t get into the water. It does not make sense,” he stated.
Recently beach users renewed an old complaint about being chased from the area of Browne’s Beach, St Michael, while others were upset about not being able to access Sandy Lane Beach in St James. (AC)