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

  • 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..

    Like

  • 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.

    Like

  • lol..they will see.

    Like

  • 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.

    Like

  • @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

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s