The Caswell Franklyn Column – That Beach is NOT Mine

From the time I was a boy, I have been hearing that there are no private beaches in Barbados. It never really mattered to me since I was never attracted to the beach. My mother had declared the sea off limits and the fear of her hand outweighed any desire to accompany my friends to the beach. Even now as a grandfather, I can’t swim and don’t go to the sea.

However, the incident, at Crane beach when vendors’ chairs were seized, piqued my interest. I sympathised with them and felt compelled to be part of the protest that was staged to support them. But ever cautions, I wanted to make sure that I was on good ground. So while Gabby and others protested, I opted to research the matter of beach access instead.

This is merely the outcome of my research and is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law; I am not so qualified and I would be happy for any clarification in this respect.

As I understand it, the Right Excellent Errol Barrow, when he led the Government, decreed that beaches in Barbados were public property. We must assume that he knew that private property extended to the high water mark. Nonetheless, he did not define what he meant by the term “beach” and therein lies the source of the confusion.

At section 2, the National Conservation Commission Act states:

For the purposes of this Act

“beach” includes the land adjoining the foreshore of Barbados and extending not more than 33 metres beyond the landward limit of the foreshore.

If beaches are indeed public property, this definition would therefore mean that Government acquired private property that extended roughly 33 metres landward from the high water mark, without paying compensation to the land owners involved.

To further complicate matters, Parliament again defined “beach” this time at section 2 of the 1998 Coastal Zone Management Act. It states:

“beach” means the entire area associated with the shoreline, composed of unconsolidated materials, typically sand and beachrock, that extends landward from the high water mark to the area where there is a marked change in material or natural physiographic form to a distance of 500 metres landward from the mean high water mark, whichever is the lesser distance.

A cursory reading of this definition would suggest that the beach ends where the sand or beachrock end, and that is the end of the matter. However, I have come to realise that nothing is ever this simple. Further reading led me to section 65A (2) of the Property Act which points out that the definition of “beach” in the Coastal Zone Management Act only applies to property that was conveyed after 1st May 2000. It states:

In all deeds, contracts, wills, orders, and instruments executed, made or coming into operation after 1st May, 2000, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference to the beach shall be construed as a reference to the beach as defined in the Coastal Zone Management Act, 1998 (Act 1998-39).

This suggests to me that a person, who acquires land on the coast after May 1, 2000, is not entitled to own the beach. And it begs the question, what about persons who owns property prior to that date? I found the answer at section 35 of the Limitation and Prescription Act.

If my interpretation of subsection 35. (1) is correct, there is a presumption that the public would have acquired the right to use the beach having done so for a period of 20 years without interruption. Mind you, that presumption can be defeated in court. Even so, that right becomes absolute if it had been enjoyed for 40 years, in accordance with subsection 35. (2) which states:

Where such a way or other matter has been so enjoyed for the full period of 40 years, the right thereto shall be deemed absolute and indefeasible, unless it appears that it was enjoyed by some consent or agreement expressly given or made for that purpose by deed or writing.

Since Bajans have been enjoying the beach for more than 40 years, it would appear that the beach might not be mine but I have the right to continue to enjoy it.

114 comments

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Bush Tea April 8, 2018 3:28 PM
    “Our beach is arguably in our top three national assets. Our Laws need to address such assets in much the same way that countries such as the USA use their laws to address their oil reserves and other strategic assets.”

    So you would like to believe in your jingoistic fervour!

    So what are the other ‘top two national assets’?

    Based on your own assessments would you consider 99% brass-bowls a top national asset with your Froon displaying all the hallmarks of 100% ‘pure’ brass-bowlery?

    Clearly, you are not referring to the commercially strategic assets formerly owned by Bajans or taxpayers as in the case of BL&P, BNB and soon to be BNTCL?

    So which other strategic asset would be at the top of the pile when the Privatization hit man lands at the GAIA? Would he be interested in taking on the BWA before flying off to China to find a willing buyer to create a little China town in Bim?

    Barbados will soon be put in the position in which it will be forced like a full-grown ‘crack-head’ parro to sell at ‘giveaway prices’ not only the national family silver but all the golden heirlooms inherited from the Adams & Barrow legacy.

    That’s what you get when you die and your lazy-ass ‘mis-educated’ children try to live way above their current financial means and must sell off the family assets (acquired through the blood, sweat and toil of their fore parents) to keep-up appearances in order to impress their fair-weather friends to prove how much they can punch above their shadow boxing weight.

    The beaches will soon be part of the privatization fire sale; and just like the Bajan dollar, they will no longer be considered unassailable and to be protected like a sacred cow.

    Barbados is slowly but surely putting all of its economic eggs in one basket called Tourism, the fount of all foreign exchange.

    Do you really believe the Bajan brass-bowls give a toss about a beach (certainly not a friend to remy hair) compared to their entitlement to drive around in imported big rides (revved up by imported fuels) and to gorge themselves on processed chemicals-laced imported foods both of which are killing them slowly with fat and cancer?

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  • Dumbasses, dont care how you explain to them…whether the beach is one mile long or only has 5 grains of sand intermittently or otherwise, it is controlled by NCC….not hoteliers, not Doyle or Sandals or any other greedy wannabe dictator.

    The government and authorities on the island instead of maintaining a slave society would definitely do well to step into the 21st century and make all of these boundaries clear to those who are clearly retarded.

    Like

  • The ONLY time that a property owner can exert control over the beach it is on that part of the beach that is above 33 metres from the high water mark.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Much of beach at Cattlewash all the way up to Foster’s Funland, Foul Bay and Long Beach are thus, under the control of their owners!!

    At Cattlewash there is only Barclays Park which is a “legal” public access.

    All other accesses require trespass over private property.

    Did you know the widest beach in Barbados is on the East Coast, facing the most violent seas?

    Walker’s Savannah/MorganLewis/Green Pond …. of course the NCC keeps off because it is privately held!!

    Take a look on Google Earth!!!

    You will see that the act permits NCC control of less than 50% of the beaches of Barbados using your logic!!

    Now, go read the Soil Conservation Act or the Town and Country Planning Act and acquaint yourself with the boundaries of the new National Park.

    Educate yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  • At Walker’s Savannah the Beach is over 1,500 feet wide.

    The Sand Pit is privately owned and controlled but it does not fall under the NCC Act.

    The owners, like all property owns in Barbados, are constrained in their economic activity by TCP!!

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John
    of course the NCC keeps off because it is privately held
    +++

    You still don’t get it John. Read the Act. The new National Park is wonderful; guess which public agency has jurisdiction over the whole damn thing… that’s right, the National Conservation Commission!
    “5. (1) The functions of the Commission are […]
    (c) to control, maintain and develop the PUBLIC PARKS, public
    gardens and beaches of Barbados;

    So it is not that the NCC “keeps off” at all… they get jurisdiction over the whole damn thing.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @ John
    At Walker’s Savannah the Beach is over 1,500 feet wide
    +++++

    For areas of beach more than 33m from the high water mark the pertinent legislation is the Coastal Zone Management Act Cap. 394. You can read it here: http://extwprlegs1.fao.org/docs/pdf/bar18058.pdf

    Pay attention to the definition of beach on page 5:
    “‘beach’ means the entire area associated with the shoreline, composed
    of unconsolidated materials, typically sand and beachrock, that
    extends landwards from the high water mark to the area where
    there is a marked change in material or natural physiographic
    form or to a distance of 500 metres landward from the mean high
    water mark, whichever is the lesser distance;”

    Note that the ‘beach ends where “… there is a marked change in material or natural physiographic form…” which means that, under law, the beach does not extend into the area covered with natural vegetation because this constitutes “a marked change in material or natural physiographic form”

    So the walkers sand pit is not considered ‘beach’ under law.

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  • So the walkers sand pit is not considered ‘beach’ under law.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    … even although it is a beach to all rational people who might get down to those parts.

    In fact dunes is a word often heard in association with the area!!

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John
    … even although it is a beach to all rational people who might get down to those parts.
    +++

    I agree John. I get down to those parts pretty often because my Grandfather bought a piece of land on the south shore of Long Pond and it is still in the family. I am personally delighted by the restrictions placed on our land by the NCC Act, CZM Act, and being within the boundaries of the new National Park. They all serve to protect the value of our environment from those who are consumed by greed.

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  • You still don’t get it John. Read the Act. The new National Park is wonderful; guess which public agency has jurisdiction over the whole damn thing… that’s right, the National Conservation Commission!
    “5. (1) The functions of the Commission are […]
    (c) to control, maintain and develop the PUBLIC PARKS, public
    gardens and beaches of Barbados;
    So it is not that the NCC “keeps off” at all… they get jurisdiction over the whole damn thing.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And how do you legally define “the whole damn thing”?

    I am only a half a lawyer but I have never come across a specification of “the whole damn thing” in any act I may have glanced through half heartedly!!

    But, I was just glancing at the Physical Development Plan Amended 2003, a requirement of the Town and Country Planning Act, section 4 – The Barbados System of Parks and Open Spaces.

    Probably been upgraded since then as the Town Planner is obliged by law to produce a new Physical Development Plan every 5 years so I may be out of date.

    As we all know, the GOB does not abide by the rule of law so both the NCC Act and the Town Planning Act can in theory be discarded!

    But, assuming we don’t, the Town Planning Act and its associated PDP is the lex specialis you need to consider!!

    This is the old Latinism which caused you so much trouble the other day … but as I have said before, I am only half a lawyer!!

    …. but, I guess, …. half trumps none!!

    If you do look at the PDP of 2003 you will find shore access points defined on Map 6.

    Funnily enough it only deals with the West Coast, Carlisle Bay and the South Coast.

    No mention of the Crane …. or the East Coast!!

    … but who knows, it may have been superseded so there may be new Shore Access Points listed.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John,
    As we all know, the GOB does not abide by the rule of law…
    +++++

    That is true, but it is our duty as citizens to correct that. I’m not certain whether it is the top half of you or the bottom half which is the lawyer, but the NCC Act does not conflict with the Town Planning Act and its associated PDP in any respect that I am able to identify.

    “Whole damn thing” is a term of art precisely corresponding to the latinism “in toto.”

    Like

  • .http://www.townplanning.gov.bb/legislation/CAP240.pdf

    Town Planning Act is online!!

    No reference to NCC or National Conservation Commission in it that I could find.

    If you look at the NCC Act at clause 7. this is what you will see.

    .7. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any land required by the Commission

    (a) for the development of a park; or

    (b) for the provision of a public access to a beach,

    may be acquired by the Crown in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act.

    Jeff’s covered that already!

    The NCC Act is if you like subsidiary legislation and needs to be read in conjunction with other lex specialis that is applicable.

    If you look at the 2017 PDP (mirabile dictu, it exists, and online) you will see only one reference to the NCC in the section dealing with Parks and Open Spaces:

    http://www.townplanning.gov.bb/pdp/Downloads/files/pdp/A-04_System%20of%20Parks%20and%20Open%20Spaces.pdf

    “The NCC is encouraged to consider expanding their operations to include responsibility for the maintenance and development of Neighbourhood Recreational Parks.”

    In 2003 the PDP did have a reference to the NCC in this section, Parks and Open Spaces referring to Neighbourhood Recreation Parks – “The NCC WILL expand their operations to include responsibility for the maintenance and development of Neighbourhood Recreation Parks.”

    What the dickens (a la Billy Bones) is a Neighbourhood Recreation Park you may well ask and why when tasked with assuming responsibility for maintenance and development in 2003, the PDP 14 years later was encouraging the NCC to actually do its job as defined in 2003?

    The language of lawyers defies understanding ….. from one half a lawyer with enough sense in the upper half of his body not to be entrapped by legalese!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • … and here is what a Neighbourhood Recreational Park is as per the PDP

    Neighbourhood Recreational Parks are mostly owned in common by the residents of the development. They are frequently left vacant or are poorly maintained. In new developments, the Government will require that new Neighbourhood Recreational Park sites are conveyed to the Government as part of the subdivision approval process, or, alternatively, that the developer provides an equivalent cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication.

    …. interesting … no mention of the Land Acquisition Act!!

    Like

  • “7. Cash-in-lieu of parkland dedications will be used by the Government solely to purchase parkland and/or park equipment, or to fund improvements to existing Neighbourhood Recreation Parks.”

    Some sense of sanity I guess.

    Sounds like the developer pays the Government cash instead of conveying the land … and then the government uses the money to buy the land … or whatever!!

    Somebody has to pay … and it isn’t the GOB!!

    Good thing is this is only in a PDP although I recall Lenny St. Hill arguing that the PDP was a Statutory Instrument, whatever that is!!

    See why I keep the upper half of my body just for common sense!!

    Like

  • At the end of the day everybody knows the political class do not follow the rules/regulations/laws.
    The “do little” crowd can’t be bothered..

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  • Caswell Franklyn

    peterlawrencethompson

    You wrote:

    I’m with Bush Tea on this point… it is a brilliant piece of legislation. By removing ‘control’ from coastal property owners but leaving them with title in the same way as we establish a road reserve on private property, we avoided the society having to pay a king’s ransom to formally expropriate their beach property.

    You obviously don’t understand how a road reserve is established. What you described is unconstitutional. The Government cannot legally take property without paying for it. Your being with Bushie does not make either of you right.

    When Tom Adams took away the plantation tenantries land under the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act, he did so by altering Section 16 of the Constitution.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Caswell
    The Government cannot legally take property without paying for it.
    +++++++

    That’s exactly my point Caswell; the Government cannot legally take property without paying for it, so they did not take beach property… not a single grain of sand. Instead they put constraints on the owners control over their beach, but left them with ownership and title.

    You are correct… I do not know how the road reserve is established… can you enlighten me?

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  • Caswell is straining at gnats.
    Government ROUTINELY exercises control over private property.

    You CANNOT build as you like on your OWN property.
    You need permission to erect a tower, to build a wall over certain height, even to play music beyond certain times….

    In fact, this idea of ‘owning property’ is largely a fool’s concept.
    We get to utilise property for a time …with fairly extensive- but also LIMITED, rights.

    So this law that places specified CONTROLS on all lands located in what is called ‘beach’ areas is VERY MUCH in line with what happens with the road reserve, with national parks, …. shiite ..even in the heritage areas such as the Garrison – one CANNOT build, demolish, or renovate as one pleases …. EVEN ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY.

    Caswell – 0
    PLT and Bushie – 10
    The NCC Act (AKA “Gabby’ Law of Jack”) – GREAT LAW
    Case closed.

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  • I think yall got bigger problems than Doyle and Sandals trying to control what they can’t, Gabby and the population with NCC got that all under control.

    The big problem you have now according to very reliable sources and I quote:

    “is deceitful Grenville trying to get control of the government for the Weatherhead family who is funding his election campaign through Sun General Insurance, their own company, another insurance gang trying to be elected to destroy and rape the treasury and land at will”….

    .those were the exact words used, so in reality as Enuff said, not one seat for Solutions.

    I am sure Enuff had this information sitting on, since I have real friends, it was not going to stay hidden.

    This information has to reach at the population…another insurance company cannot be allowed to control government of the people again.

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  • John, since I was knee high to a grass hopper, entrances to Cattlewash were many. You could enter by Bella Vista between Nova Villa. Between Sandy Crest and Sandy Dot. You could enter by Tobruk, or Bolivar, by Round Rock and anywhere you wanted to, because they were bay houses and no one lived there permanently except for the Kreindlers at Gibraltar and the Inces at Kingsley. I see someone is building a concrete monstrosity where Submarine used to be. I hope the spring tide washes it away.

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  • Oh and Caswell..according to my sources, I should have news for you by year end GOOD or BAD.

    the good being..I am not an unfair person so even if I know someone who is known as bad and that person does good, I also highlight the good deeds they do, if any..

    The bad being, what I know of at least 3 files and any bad happens, not only will CGI and Peter Harris be exposed, but I will send those involved to you with all the necessary information so you can help do the exposing as you promised…they will tell you Well,Well sent them

    So I guess it is all up to your friend now right.

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  • @Bush Tea April 9, 2018 9:19 AM “Government ROUTINELY exercises control over private property. You CANNOT build as you like on your OWN property.”

    True., true.

    We have a piece of family land which we have not been able to build on since 1962. The government [all parties] commands us to pay $1,200 per year in land tax, and we pay. Not a cent of tax owed on this land. We is Brass Bowls right. The government draws water from under this land and SELLS this water the hotels and wealthy people on the west coast, and they are doing ok, while I catch the ZR vans.

    Which permits Bushie to call me a bum.

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  • LOL @ Simple Simon…
    ha ha ha

    Baloney!!!
    Go ahead and build the house do! …woman
    What government what??!!
    If they cannot stop a cement bond next to the Flour Mill …when would they get around to your land?
    Is it near to a ZR route…?

    The government is our new plantocracy ……complete with BB ‘negrocrats’.

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  • The government is our new plantocracy ……complete with BB ‘negrocrats’.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I was thinking of the PDP and the Neighbourhood Recreational Parks and realised, having read the line above in the comment by BT that the difference between slavery as existed in the past and slavery that exists today is that slave owners of the past sought to end it … and did so.

    Todays slave owners try to keep people enslaved.

    Consider the GOB as slave owners and its control over “Neighbourhood Recreational Parks” as per the PDP.

    What the PDP is saying is that Bajans living side by side in a neighbourhood cannot work together to keep a small piece of land they jointly own clear and need the GOB to do it.

    In exchange the GOB ends up owning the land and through the NCC, keeps it clean.

    Then the NCC runs out of money and sends people home.

    So who keeps the Neighbourhood Recreational Park clean now?

    Bajans are not allowed to be responsible for something that should be as simple as that.

    … or is it that Bajans simply cannot work together to identify and achieve a common goal?

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Ah guess the quaker frauds were not as good as you like to spew, about being such good slave masters who taught bajan slaves everything they know, ah guess they did not teach them anything at all….Liesalot.

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  • Ah guess the quaker frauds were not as good as you like to spew, about being such good slave masters who taught bajan slaves everything they know, ah guess they did not teach them anything at all….Liesalot.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Maybe it is like what pertains in any school with any student …. the desire to learn determines the outcome!!

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Keep telling yaself that, lying to yaself is much better than continually lying to others though.

    Like

  • @Bush Tea April 9, 2018 10:31 PM “Is it near to a ZR route…?”

    “Nah. It is near to a BMW, Mercedes, high end SUV kinda route.”

    When I was young a then speaker of the House–a DLP lawyer right?– tried to acquire it for a old white already trembly American client of his. The American claimed that he wanted to grow sugar cane on two acres of land. We knew that he was lying and that the speaker was going to work a thing for him. My dad told them both to haul.

    Lately some Chinese have enquired. So yes, a lot of rich people covet this land, and a lot of rich people with political connections are sure that they can get a change of use, but first they want to disposses us. They don’t want the change of use for us who have paid the taxes for more than 60 years. They want the change of use for themselves.

    I told the Chinese to haul. They think that because they have a billion people and nuclear weapons that they can disposses us?

    We will never, ever pay a politician a bribe in order to ensure equitable use of our own land. NEVER. NEVER.

    And we don’t care if the clients of the Bajan lawyers are rich white Americans or a rich Chinese.

    With nuclear weapons.

    Like

  • Typical of Carrington the skunk and all the other skunk lawyers on the island, always selling out to someone white or otherwise, ya can never get them to accord you the black person who owns the land or property the same privilege they have reserved for whites and others who always seek to acquire your land….. or get you all that you need to progress in your country, although you are paying them the same legal fees or more since it is you they are robbing and no one else..

    .. all those house negros should be lynched, will not be surprised if that is not already on some white or other person’s agendas.

    Like

  • Simple Simon April 10, 2018 10:17 AM April 10,

    I have long said that government should introduce legislation making it illegal to sell freehold property to non-nationals. Only leaseholds should be sold: to private individuals to a maximum of 25 years, and to commercial entities, a maximum of 50 years.
    We should also introduce legislation making it illegal for private properties to be sold to corporates, trusts or other non-human entities and the final owners must be listed on the land register.
    Property is the easiest way of moneylaundering in Barbados and realtors (estate agents), lawyers, accountants and even the regulators conspire in this illegality because of the large sums of money involved. Failure to properly scrutinise any such deals should be a crime punishable by a term in prison. Dr ain the swamp.
    Now with the Chinese government giving its citizen (usually males) money to buy properties and open businesses to settle outside China (the invisible empire, so-called) , we are sitting ducks. Chinese, no matter their nationalities, no matter their passports, always see themselves as Chinese first. They can be fifth columnists..

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  • And we don’t care if the clients of the Bajan lawyers are rich white Americans or a rich Chinese.
    With nuclear weapons.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Froon like he nuclearisng the DLP.

    First we saw all the Chinese military vehicles arrive at the port,

    Today the military convoys are up and down the ABC Highway from the Airport with containers of God knows what!!

    Sirenes fuh so!!

    Like

  • This is blatant intimidation.

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  • lol..they will see.

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  • Caswell Franklyn

    Today the military convoys are up and down the ABC Highway from the Airport with containers of God knows what!!

    John

    You need materiel in order to crack heads and shoot people.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  • Saw the outriders on the highway and wondered about the cargo.

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  • @Well, Well April 10, 2018 10:40 AM “Typical of Carrington the skunk.”

    It wasn’t Carrington. It was another speaker. Carrington was in diapers then.

    Like

  • Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service

    Dr. Simple…same shit just a different era and now a better equipped crook/skunk speaker of the house…who is even worse than the previous speaker of the house. .whom am sure is very much deceased by now..

    Like

  • Saw the outriders on the highway and wondered about the cargo.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Saw a Military plane taking off … kind of like an in and out mission!!

    Like

  • Something is going on. What makes it worse is that the DLP is not campaigning.

    Like

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