Mac Fingall and St. Philip Residents ‘Fighting Back’ to Protect their Way of Life at Skeete’s Bay

Skeetes Bay

The Late Prime Minister David Thompson promised Barbadians before he died that his government would not allow the East Coast of Barbados to mirror its West Coast. In the Barbados Physical Development Plan the Eastern corridor of Barbados cannot be commercially developed. Now that the West Coast has been dotted with concrete structures with few windows to the sea and limited access to beachfront for locals, attention has turned to the South East of Barbados. There is a ‘catfight’ which is currently playing out to develop the South Eastern area of Barbados which includes Ragged Point, Eastbourne and Skeetes Bay.

Paul Doyle, the owner of the Crane Hotel, finds himself at logger heads with residents of Bayfield and the surrounding communities. He proposes to develop 88 beach houses on 44 acres of land (each equipped with a swimming pool) he bought four years ago at Skeetes Bay and Culpepper in St. Philip. He unveiled his plans to residents of the area at a town hall meeting at the St. Catherine’s Sports Club where there was standing room only. Residents of the area are concerned that the way of life they know and love will be interrupted by the proposed Culpepper Beach Houses Development.

The opportunity for residents to vent concerns about the project was made possible by well known Barbadian Mac Fingall who lives in the area.  Fuelling concerns for the residents of the close-knit Bayfield area is the proposal by Doyle to develop Skeetes Bay by adding a restaurant to provide alternate dining for guests staying at the Crane Hotel. Despite his many reassurances that locals would be encouraged to continue fishing, exercising and all the other activities they currently are involved, locals remained apprehensive. What makes the proposal by Doyle interesting is that Skeetes Bay is currently owned by the government of Barbados. No wonder the residents smell a rat!

The issue which Doyle faces if he wants to move forward with the development is that he needs to persuade Mac Fingall or one other local to sell their property which he needs to access his development. Both have flatly refused to sell. Fingall in an emotional delivery stated some things simply can’t be bought meaning that way of life the community as enjoyed since Adam was a lad. His plea was supported by another local Red Plastic Bag. The fact that the developer started to prepare access to the property and encroached on Finagal’s property has not helped Doyle Fingal Bayfield residents relations. It is evident Mac Fingall is accepted as a leader in the community and Doyle will have his work cut out to get this project off the ground..  Coming out of the exchanges, if Doyle is not able to persuade Fingall or one other to sell to get the required access to satisfy Town Planning that leaves Skeetes Bay.

BU congratulates Mac Fingall’s ;leadership and the residents of Bayfield and the surrounding area. Usually developers will schedule the mandatory two public meeting to discuss the Environmental Impact Study. The St. Philip residents led by Fingall have forced Doyle to come to them even before a submission has been made to Town Planning.

Minister of Housing Michael Lashley – who is a local boy – attended the stormy meeting and informed that his ministry has received proposals to support developments at Eastbourne and Ragged Point. Given the track record of politicians in Barbados when it comes to physical development and a land use policy, it is hard to imagine some of the proposals will not be approved. Is the selling of our finite resource worth it?


  • “A well developed coastline could be as, or even more, aesthetic than one that is undeveloped.”

    I totally agree with you Enuff but it has to be done with taste. There is good taste and bad taste and who decides on what is good taste? Many areas in Barbados can be developed tastefully and I have seen many developed by government, some are really horrid to even look at.

    We are as aesthetically developed as we should be. When I drive around the island there is a lot of junk, like debris, boulders laying around in many districts. A clever person or company will turn that junk into a work of art. We have that talent here to redesign our surroundings with taste. If only we will seek those out with talent and not let any Tom Dick and Harry with political affiliations get the contracts. We also have a serious problem with maintaining the existing villages, parks and grounds. Why can’t we all get it into our heads that proper maintenance prolongs the life and beauty of our island and our people?

    I was down by Bath yesterday and it was just beautiful. The friend I was with said that there should never be any big development there and she wasn’t even from here. I envision down there as a place for holiday cottages and camping grounds. Whatever developments that is to come must first enhance the area and not stand out like a sore thumb.

    I heard Red plastic bags saying that he wants the residents of the Skeete’s Bay area to continue to be able to have access to the beach, to be able to fish without hindrance and I totally agree with him. He is not against the development as far as I can see but wants to retain the freedom they now have. He is totally right. In many countries they have banned development on their beaches. If any development must take place it must be on the other side of the road.


  • @islandgal

    The problem with issues like this is that we cloud the matter through our prisms.

    If you read and understand carefully what is happening at Skeetes Bay, the developer (Doyle) needs an access road of 26 feet to access the development to satisfy Town Planning. To get that access he needs to cross Mac Fingall’s land. Mac is very upset that he started excavation at this early stage on his land without his permission which says a lot. Mac has refused to sell which leaves another resident by the name of Chapman who provides a second option who has also refused to sell. The final option is to cut a road through Skeetes Bay and therein lies the rub. The point RPB et al is making is that to drop a restaurant and proceed with the development as proposed will CHANGE the way of life of this community which they treasure more than money. Can you imagine people turning down hundreds of thousands of dollars in this time because they want to protect a way of life? PRICELESS!

    There is also the story which did not make the papers of a resident of the Crane area refusing to sell to Doyle some time ago and he built the laundry room next to the resident’s property.

    Of course the resident is not against the development per se, they are against the development of Skeetes Bay because they know what Doyle is up to.

    Why does Doyle feel he can develop Skeetes Bay anyway? The Minister confirmed that it is crown land. Something smells stink and the St. Philip people who have always demonstrated a togetherness which others communities in Barbados can do well to follow.


  • David it seems that the Government is not coming out with the truth. If Mac and his friend Chapman have decided not to sell Doyle cannot do a thing unless the government decides to take the land. What Barbadians must understand and be very wary of is if that the State can take part or all of their land. It is called eminent domain*.

    Eminent domain (United States), compulsory purchase (United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland), resumption/compulsory acquisition (Australia), or expropriation (South Africa and Canada) is an action of the state to seize a citizen’s private property, expropriate property, or seize a citizen’s rights in property with due monetary compensation, but without the owner’s consent. The property is taken either for government use or by delegation to third parties who will devote it to public or civic use or, in some cases, economic development.

    Let us hope that it will not come to that just remember he who pays the piper chooses/plays the tune.


  • @islandgal

    There is obviously more to this deal which has not made its way to the public. Mac using some commonsense has decided to bring it to the public at a very early stage, even before a submission to the Town Planning has been done. Like The Scout correctly stated earlier you pull one tail in St. Philip and you pull all. This is what happens when people are prepared to stick together but more importantly where there is leadership present.

    The DLP ministers who represent St. Philip should thread very carefully.


  • Islandgal 246

    You are correct that Government can acquire a person’s land through the compulsory acquisition process. However, you miss one salient point, the acquisition mus be done for PUBLIC PURPOSES.


  • Time to sell LIME to Digicel

    Caswell Franklyn | February 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM | … However, you miss one salient point, the acquisition mus be done for PUBLIC PURPOSES.

    Earning US$ = PUBLIC PURPOSE – not located in the box


  • It runs counter to the policies set out in the Physical Development Plan that those in authority would entertain proposals for development first at Merricks, which seems to have been approved, and now at Skeete’s Bay. The locations of Tourism areas in the PDP are shown on Map 4 : Land Use Plan and neither Merricks or Skeetes Bay are shown on this map as areas for tourism development.

    PDP Tourism Policies section says that “New beach oriented hotel and tourism development will be directed primarily to existing tourism areas along the south and west coasts.”

    The general thrust of Section 3.3 (Tourism) of the PDP is as noted above but also “….to discourage expansion of coastal tourism districts beyond existing developed areas”.

    Section says “ All new development in coastal development areas will be consistent with policies of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan”.

    Is the proposed development at Skeete’s Bay consistent with this Plan. Is this Plan a public document? Where can it be found? The link below seems to indicate that a Plan was commisioned and prepared 1196-1999.


  • Correction – date should read 1996-1999.


  • Time to sell LIME to Digicel

    Nostradamus | February 11, 2012 at 11:31 AM |

    US$, US$, US$


  • Correction…We are NOT as aesthetically developed as we should be.


  • @all

    i congrtulate mac for refusing to sell. a lot of prime lands blacks had end up in the hands of expatriate whites. But we must recognize money speak in this county and pliticians cannot be trusted. lets see what happen after elections next year relative to the project.

    Remember i think the the john moore shop was acquire for natioanal good. can the govt acquire the properties involved for natioanl good;the development?


  • This is a good time to have a discussion about life in Barbados for those who cannot fly to Miami or even st.Lucia for a vacation.

    Barbadians have supported the Tourism industry by staying away from the Beaches in front of Hotels on the West and South Coasts.

    On bank holidays they DO NOT go to Hotel beaches.

    It is important that traditional locations and Beaches on the east coast be preserved for the public use.

    I accept that Barbados desperately needs to create jobs but government should seriously consider the fact that 280,000 people live on an Island where they are not welcome or wanted on the West and South coast beaches.


  • “The DLP ministers who represent St. Philip should thread very carefully….” At last someone else recognises there are a lot of crab holes i that area of St. philip and when crabs come out!!! what was the MP doing at the meeting? Does he understand that even as Independants both Bag and Mac can create history again …


  • Both Minister Lashley and Indar Weir (BLP) were in attendance.


  • This issue is should also be discussed as a matter of National interest.

    Is there a risk in Developing more East coast beaches for Tourism.

    Does anyone care about having “green space” or should building the concrete ring around Barbados continue.


  • well said island gal. we are a bunch of law for the medes and another for the persians.


  • Listen to me all you people of a kinder complexion..this is Barbados OK..if we like ole fishing villages and sea baths….leave it so…You don’t see us going to the Mudda Country telling wanna how to run tings right Rosemary at el…..if it go be candles it go be candle …you all can repatriate.

    We like um So !!! D Bajan way


  • It seems to me that there is mis-information floating around in Barbados.

    The restaurant by the jetty is apparently NOT a part of the planning application for the proposed resort – only a “by-the-way” idea of Mr. Doyle. The site in question (at least as presented at the meeting) was the open stretch of (private) land at Whitehaven located between the southern edge of the beach at Skeete’s Bay and Culpepper Island. Note that Gov’t owns most of the beach lands north of this site including the fishing complex.

    I know (as confirmed to me) that a previous application for change of use was withdrawn, but that a new application has been recently lodged for the resort. It is also known that the building being constructed on the land is a single dwellinghouse – a showhome (with planning permission).

    So the proposed development is not going to ‘take away’ what we know as Skeetes Bay, but I would need to be assured that I could ALWAYS use the Bay, the jetty, the 50m of adjacent coastline and culpepper island as is done today. Any development will certainly change what is now the norm – there would have to be some umbrellas by the beach – but as most of the beach is gov’t-owned, surely govt can control any encroachment. I particularly liked RPB’s comments about fishing on the jetty (and along the coast) no matter what happens – and he is right!

    Access – Mac has a good point – I don’t know how they will get in either. Some local road upgrades will be required as well which should benefit the area in any case. But access to the site cannot work as it is now.

    Water – there is no way this development could be built until the proposed BWA upgrades happen!

    Soil – out there has some clay in parts – so $$ will need to be spent to ensure that foundations are secure and kept fairly dry (i.e. sewers).

    If and when all the technical issues are solved, my questions would be:
    1) Can the resort be built sensitively enough to have only a minimal impact on the community?
    2) Does Gov’t need the foreign investment?
    3) Are there genuine community benefits that the developer could offer – not just the promise of jobs, etc.?

    Only time will tell how this one pans out…


  • @Magic
    nice reasoming


  • Lets hope that all parties involved has a ‘magic marker’ in their pencil cases. 😉


  • Barbados needs a ferry service so people can have their excursions in St.Lucia or St.Vincent.


  • @Hants

    Well said tongue in cheek no doubt.

    The seriousness of the problem is that if a BLP is returned the power what will be their plan?


  • Why not just outlaw Paul Doyle’s timeshare scam altogether?


  • oh hear ye me ole onion bags neither doth the mother country beggeth thee to invest bajan cutplate therein as you beggeth them so to do.


  • Doyle is the second “developer” in 10 years with plans for this area.
    After Independence St. Catherine Cricket Club was moved to its present location when a group of bajans (?) had the plan to develop from Ragged Point to Skeete’s Bay into a kind of Sunset St. James area development . At that time 2 key landowners refused to sell. The project did not get off the ground then.


  • Follow what is happening at another development,Harlequin

    Update 14th February 2012
    Storm Clouds are gathering on the Horizon for Harlequin. This is one Storm that the good ship Harlequin and its senior Crew will not be able to Weather. You could call it the Perfect Storm created by Ames and his trusted Lieutenants and no one else.

    Harlequin are in deep trouble financially and are now hoping against hope that new investors will invest in the Harlequin Investment Fund.
    Banks and Main Stream Financial Institutions have walked away.
    HMSSE Harlequin’s UK arm have failed to date to file their audited accounts for 2011, an Offence in the UK. Harlequin refuse to provide Audited accounts in the Caribbean or more importantly can’t as their Caribbean Auditors are refusing to still sign off on the previous years accounts for Ames’s Caribbean companies over fears that they are wholly over stretched and not in a position to make good on their current commitments.


  • Thanks David

    This does not create an investment favored air for overseas investors….What this does for Four Seasons is create more stress for the Professor…I hope all Barbadians and more so politicians TAKE NOTE..


  • @ IslandGal,

    The people who worked on the crane were not all Bajans but mostly Guyanese and yes the conditions on the site were less than favourable to say the least.

    IT is time that we begin to stand up as a people, hurray! to Mac and the crew.


  • Based in media reports Doyle has moved back from the restaurant in Skeete’s Bay.

    The question remains: will the Town Planning approve the project with the narrow access if Mac and the others don’t sell?


  • millertheanunnaki

    “The question remains: will the Town Planning approve the project with the narrow access if Mac and the others don’t sell?”

    Why do you think the pols are not making political and electioneering capital out of this by being on the people’s side? The people behind the project have already been given the assurances with the relevant quid pro quo that every thing would work out fine in the end. Just let the natives let off steam as a nine day wonder. T&CP already in the bag.

    Money makes the mare fly!


  • The question is, can government acquiry a person’s property, to allow another private individual to benefit from it. my understanding is that only if the property is to be used by the government, can the property be compulsary acquiried


  • @islandgal246 | February 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM |

    stop living in a fantasy world. just because it never came to light does not dictate that Giselle fabricated it. i bet people like u go to baxters road often or used to (i never did nor would) and u would buy fish from the sellers but there was one who sold u fish fried in oil that was filled with dead cockroaches. no one ever talk about it but who knew never bought from her. yes i knew about it. i heard stories which i believed to be fabricated until told to me by someone who did it. they worked at a bakery and would ‘hawk up’ mucous from their throat and deposited into the dough/ no one knew, the bread was sold. u can choose to believe or not, i don’t care. nasty things happen and it is never reported. those two situations i know of, why should i report them? how could i prove them? except for the cockroaches swimming in the cooking oil, the one with the mucous had been bandied around for awhile and others like you choose to believe it was a lie – silly person u are


  • @Clone

    Let us give Pat Hoyos a pass.

    He always seem to be on the side of the rich foreign investor, remember Peter Allard in the Kingsland Affair?

    After covering the initial story not a column out of him when Allard sued all of Barbados.


  • more foreign dirty money funding so called projects in Barbados.
    i say like other islands that the land can only be leased not sold
    to who knows.mafia,gangsters,cartels,
    do we even know where this money to fund all this building comes from????????
    would be a good way to clean dirty money huh.
    gee i wonder……..?


  • Choc o Hussle
    u would buy fish from the sellers but there was one who sold u fish fried in oil that was filled with dead cockroaches. no one ever talk about it but who knew never bought from her.

    What don’t kill does fatten…In Asia they yam the ole cockroach and almost the entire bug family.In India its the BBQ field rodent ..rat. Not only baxters rd. but many other indoor establishments and prepackage food-ers. Caviet Empor pardon my latin .


  • It’s time Lashley and Estwick come clean or disassociate themselves from their SEATS come next elections.
    It’s simple Doyle or The People ?
    Mac has thrown down the gauntlet….


  • Correction; Caveat Emptor:

    Let the buyer (and the facilitator) beware


  • I have some questions
    1. Who are the architects
    2. Who are the engineering firm
    3. Who are the project management firms
    4. Who are the quantity surveyor firms
    5. Who are the building contractors
    6. Who are the construction firms


  • why not sell the whole of Barbados to the Americans. they will soon sort things out with the English.we could become an American state.
    that would be cool.
    look just sell all of Barbados to who ever got money who cares it is just our blood and sweat that built it and made it how it is.
    black and white slaves built this island.
    now our government [all blacks by the way] selling it to thieves and crooks from who knows where..
    nice one keep it up.soon some bombs may go off in little bim.
    what a pity.
    oh well money and a fancy car and a fancy tv and cell phone is all does matter to we stupid bajans.
    real cool.


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