To Build or NOT to Build – A National Conversation is Required

Submitted by David Comissiong, Concerned Citizen
To continue to build on the beaches of Barbados or not to build — that is the question! (And whether or not to start the practice of constructing towering buildings along the coastline of Barbados — that is an associated question!)
My own personal position is that we have already done enough building on the most prized beaches of Barbados, and that we are in danger of killing the proverbial goose that lays the tourism golden egg.
And so, whether I oppose the building of a 15 story monstrosity of a Hyatt hotel in the law courts of Barbados or through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process — inclusive of Town Hall meetings — the fact is that I, in my capacity as a Citizen of Barbados, intend to continue to oppose it ! Those who would suggest otherwise either really don’t know David Comissiong, or are simply engaging in opportunist partisan politics.
Surely, the main reason why tourists choose to come to Barbados is to enjoy the beauty and comfort of our natural environment — with our beaches taking pride of place — and to experience the heritage of our country and the warmth and hospitality of our people and their social culture.
I would therefore like to urge all Barbadians to seriously consider whether we really want to construct towering hotel structures along the magnificent beachfront of Carlisle Bay, or to accelerate the process of transforming a Bajan people’s beach into an alienated coastal zone in which locals feel uncomfortable.
Fellow Barbadians, what is wrong with establishing extensive “windows to the sea” along the most beautiful beaches of Barbados , so that these beaches can remain uncluttered and readily accessible for both citizens and visitors alike, while future hotel development takes place on the land-side of the coastal highway ?
It is important that we recognize that Barbados possesses a unique natural, socio-cultural, and historical / heritage environment, and that we must therefore be very wary about engaging in so-called “development” that ends up doing permanent damage to what is truly unique and valuable about our environment. You see, once we do any fundamental damage to our unique Barbadian environment, we will never be able to restore it and it will be lost forever.
Indeed, in this regard, we need to pay special heed to the opinion of Mr Peter Stevens, the President of the Barbados National Trust, who has gone on record and has warned us that if the proposed Hyatt Hotel is constructed (as currently designed) it will almost certainly cause Barbados to be stripped of its UNESCO World Heritage site designation. And this would be a terrible tragedy, because the real future of Barbados’ tourism industry lies in the development of cultural, heritage, health , and educational tourism!
I also feel very strongly that as we go forward with tourism in Barbados that we should seek –more and more — to indigenize the industry. Let us, therefore, commit ourselves to a future of locally owned hotels and related facilities that fit snugly into our national environment , and that radiate the unique personality, charm, culture, and hospitality of the Barbadian people.
In conclusion, please permit me to say that the issue of “to build or not to build” on the beaches of Barbados (or the issue of whether or not to build towering hotels on our coastline) should not be pigeonholed as David Comissiong’s issue. Needless-to-say, I will continue to advocate and fight for my own personal position on the issue, but it is really a national issue and it is time that we have a comprehensive and responsible national conversation about it.

80 comments

  • It is all dejuvuish isn it.

    High Octane West Coast Development May Sabotage Barbados Economy

    Posted on May 22, 2008 by David 11 comments

    The BU household will hold former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Minister of Tourism Noel ‘Barney’ Lynch guilty of permanently disfiguring the West Coast of Barbados. We will stretch it further and state that it will be the legacy of the former Barbados Labour Party government. It has become an every day occurrence to hear Barbadians and visitors alike refer

    Read more

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  • David
    The West Coast is still far more attractive than the South Coast, better architecture, better landscaping etc. It would be useful to compile a list of all the projects on the West Coast (beach side) from 1994 to now and separate them into redevelopment of sites and development on views/open space.

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Freedom Crier

    You said and I quote “…What Ideas have you got to Bolster Barbados and make it Great, including David BU, Hal, Piece?

    You have been absent where it Counts… “The Building of our Nation”…”

    First of all at time I hear the words “…made it great…” I get real scared and get flashes and start perspiring. You know what fear does.

    Secondly, I do not ever hear you commenting on information system architecture, my point being that you stick to the subject matter that you a comfortable with and comfortable in.

    Thirdly.

    The things that I know WILL BUILD BARBADOS BELONG for the most part TO THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY

    Many of my proposals don’t even exists or if they do exist, don’t fall into the domain of accustomed knowledge pools and usually meets with downright idiocy, palpable incredulity but mostly FEAR.

    MINE is the belief that the mono economy that you are promoting is based on consumerism

    What you are constantly advocating produces nothing yet consumes 80% of the little resources our country generates every year.

    You and others with the capitalist chant, support a system that is inherently self destructive

    I, in all honesty, while i understand why you do what you do, cannot be a part of that.

    My mission, as difficult as it continues to be, is to assist in producing other sustainable income streams for our country

    I cannot in all honesty wish you well since that would mean I am promoting “make Barbados Poor Again” through practices that have brought us to this predicament.

    Having said that I do enjoin to see how Come Sing Along Citizen with Nexus in this Hyatt matter, will ultimately extricate himself from this matter against the GoB and his cousin Mia

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  • • Hal Austin
    July 14, 2018 12:44 PM
    Freedom Crier,
    “You have not answered the question. I do not support any political party in the UK.”

    Those that stand in the Middle of the Road are in grave danger of getting knocked down by traffic coming both ways even more so when they cannot tell the difference between right and left. I will be happy to carry on this conversation if you and Peace can humble yourself to do so here …
    https://barbadosunderground.net/2018/07/13/for-the-good-of-our-country-barbados/

    Hal Austin

    “There is a fundament difference between a nationalist and a racist/bigot. The same way there is a vast difference between a right-wing nationalist (ie Hitler) and a left wing nationalist (name any black nationalist of the 1960s) and a social democratic nationalist (ie the Scottish National Party).”

    Freedom Crier @ Hal Austin…

    There was Nothing to the Right with Hitler…The Name of Hitler’s Party was National Socialist Party. It is high time we realized the dangerous threat to America and the rest of the world including Barbados of Creeping Socialism as the Ruthless Comrade to Atheistic Communism. It is high time we recognize creeping Socialism for what it really is—a Red Carpet Providing a Royal Road to Communism.

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  • Prime Minister Mia Mottley will deliver the feature address at the opening of a stakeholders’ consultation aimed at reforming and modernising Barbados’ Town and Country Planning Act, on Monday, July 16.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2018/07/14/pm-to-address-town-planning-consultation/

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