Open for Business – Barbados Development Plan

The following note was received from the civic minded Peter Lawrence Thompson with the link to a 122 page Barbados Development Plan pitched to potential investors to transform and modernize Barbados while maintaining those things that make it special. Given the robust discussion about Hyatt Hotel, Blue Horizon and other development initiatives across, the document serves as a good resource.

Many have asked to see the official development plan that provides the context for the proposed Hyatt branded development on Bay Street. The linked document is from Barbados Tourism Investment Inc., not from the planning office, but it clearly has the PM’s endorsement so I believe we can treat it as an official plan for Bridgetown development.

Relevant Link

Barbados Development Plan

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.

David Comissiong Has No Olive Branch to Offer on the Hyatt Case!

Submitted by David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados
SO  FAR as the Hyatt Hotel is concerned, I — David Andre Comissiong – – have no “olive branch” to offer to anyone!
I wish to state for the record that I have never said anything about offering the new Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government any so-called “olive branch” in relation to my case challenging the permission granted by former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Mr Mark Maloney’s company to construct a 15 story Hyatt Hotel on beachfront land at Bay Street.
The term “olive branch” — used in relation to the so-called Hyatt Hotel case — is entirely the concoction of the Barbados Today online newspaper: and I would appreciate it if that newspaper would adhere to basic journalistic ethics and refrain from putting words in my mouth.
Let me make my position very clear in relation to the so-called Hyatt Hotel case:-
In March 2017 I filed a Judicial Review application against the then Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government, in which I requested a Judge of the Supreme Court to review the manner in which Mr Freundel Stuart, the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning, had processed Mr Mark Maloney’s application for permission to construct a 15 story Hyatt Hotel on the Bay Street beachfront.
I maintained in my Judicial Review application that Mr Stuart had committed a breach of the Law of Barbados by failing to require Maloney’s company to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and that , as a result, the grant of permission to build the hotel should be squashed.
Mr Stuart responded by questioning my right — as a Citizen of Barbados — to bring such a Judicial Review application against  the Government of Barbados.
And when the presiding Judge — Madam Justice Dr. Sonia Richards — ruled in my favour, Mr Stuart appealed to the Court of Appeal against the Judge’s ruling.
This is where the matter stood at the time of the change of government on the 24th of May 2018.
Now that we have a new Government, I have been questioned by the news media as to the fate of the Court case, and I have made my position absolutely clear :-
If the new BLP Government wishes to see the back of this Court Case that they have inherited from the previous DLP administration, they would have to do the following things:-
(1) Firstly, they would have to DISCONTINUE the Appeal that was lodged against Dr Richards’ ruling! (This is important because the Judge’s ruling confirmed that we, the Citizens of Barbados, DO have the right to challenge in a Court of Law nationally important decisions and actions of our Government that affect us — not in our personal capacities– but that affect us in our capacities as Citizens of the country.)
(2) Secondly, they would have to CONCEDE that former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was WRONG in Law when he granted permission to construct a 15 story beachfront hotel without having carried out an EIA ( inclusive of the holding of Town Hall meetings) in respect of the proposed construction project..
(3) Thirdly — and most importantly — they would have to CANCEL the permission that was wrongly granted to Maloney’s company, and would also have to give an undertaking to require the staging of an EIA in the event that Maloney’s company makes a new application to construct the said Hyatt Hotel.
If the new BLP Government is prepared to carry out these actions, then I would have no need to continue the litigation against the Government, and the way would be clear for both sides to negotiate a discontinuance of the litigation.
How any of this can be construed as “offering an olive branch” is really beyond me!
Permit me to also state for the record that I am convinced that once Maloney’s application is subjected to an objective EIA that the findings of the EIA  WILL confirm that the construction of any such 15 story hotel is NOT permissible because:-
(1) It will do tremendous damage to the physical and architectural landscape of Bridgetown;
(2) It will cause Barbados to be stripped of its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation;
(3) It will create massive problems for the Bridgetown and South Coast sewage systems; and
(4) It will impinge severely on the Barbadian people’s access to and enjoyment of one of their most prized and favoured beaches.
In other words, the staging of an objective EIA will disqualify the proposed 15 story Hyatt Hotel.

Former Minister of Finance Sinckler Waived $330,000 in Duties on Mercedes Benz for Director of Hyatt Hotel


A recent picture of the Hyatt location on Bay Street i

One of the more interesting revelations made by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at yesterday’s press conference was the waiver by the last Democratic Labour Party (DLP) of duties in the amount of $330,000 on a Mercedes Benz AMG GLC Coupe on April 12, 2018- to be used by a Director of Sales of Hyatt hotel.

The point needs to be made that the construction of the Hyatt hotel was shrouded in uncertainty in uncertainty after the decision was handed down by Dr. The Hon. Madam Justice Sonia L. Richards on December 20, 2018.

The question to whom it may concern at Hyatt hotel headquarters- what is the name of the Director of Sales?

Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s Press Conference (1 June 2018

Foolish Freundel and the Ridiculous Barbados Today Story

Click Barbados Today image to read article

David Comissiong Responds to Barbados Today story – BLP PLOT – see this February 2012 PEP Press Release:




As a result of a protest launched by Mac Fingall, Stedson Wiltshire, and other residents of St Philip, the eyes of the Barbadian people are fixed on Skeete’s Bay!

But the Peoples Empowerment Party (PEP) wishes to warn the citizens of Barbados that an even more prominent and culturally important beach is in danger of being taken away from native Barbadians and turned into an enclave for wealthy, white North American and European tourists! We refer to none other than Brown’s Beach – the world famous Browne’s Beach that extends across the length of Carlisle Bay in the parish of St Michael.

All Barbadians know Browne’s Beach. It is reputed to be one of the finest beaches in the world, and, along with Brandon’s Beach, is the beach of choice of the black, working-class people of Barbados.

It is also a beach that is famous in the native literature of Barbados. Our very own national poet laureate – Kamau Brathwaite – virtually grew up on Browne’s beach, and was so shaped by this experience that Browne’s Beach became the spiritual and cultural source and centre of a number of his most important poems.

Go to Browne’s Beach any time of the day and any day of the week, and you will find hundreds of black Barbadians communing with each other, and enjoying this magnificent and priceless component of their birth-right. Indeed, many Barbadians will tell you that Browne’s Beach is their health spa and doctor combined together, for it is the place where they escape from the stresses of life and rejuvenate their spirits.

It is against this background that we in the PEP were recently shocked to learn that one or more business consultants are currently engaged in developing a plan to offer up Browne’s Beach as the location for a number of foreign, brand-name hotel companies to construct opulent five star hotels on this most loved of Barbadian beaches!

The President of the PEP has actually spoken to one of the consultants, and heard the same type of unedifying and self-serving rationalizations that the Canadian capitalist – Paul Doyle – has advanced in relation to the Skeete’s Bay project. According to these people, we Barbadians should be willing to let go of national assets like Browne’s Beach because we are dependent on foreign exchange, and foreign companies are well equipped to market their properties internationally and to bring additional thousands of precious tourists to our shores.

All of these capitalist businessmen talk as though the people of Barbados only exist on the material plane – as though we Barbadians are similar to pigs whose only purpose in life is to be fattened! They all seem to overlook that we are human beings with spiritual, cultural and psychological yearnings and needs!

Well, before this private sector driven idea of turning over Browne’s Beach to “foreign brand-name hotels” gets any further, the PEP is hereby firing a warning shot across the bow of our Ministry of Tourism, and indeed, across the bow of the entire Cabinet. And we are telling them that Browne’s Beach is much too sacred to the native people of Barbados for us to stand idly by and permit it to become an alien zone that is effectively off limits to us.

As it is, we Barbadian people are already sharing Browne’s Beach with a sizeable number of North American and European tourists. And we are happy to do so. But a balance must be maintained, and Browne’s Beach must never be permitted to become one of your typical West Coast beaches – beaches that native Barbadians feel no longer belong to them!

Furthermore, the time has come when we Barbadians must consciously set out to take firm control of our nation, and mould it in accordance with our own ideas, needs and predilections.

We have been operating hotels in Barbados for over 200 years now, and we know about the hotel and tourism industry. We don’t need any foreign tutelage! Let us therefore resolve that future hotel and tourism development will, as far as possible, be based in the construction of locally owned hotels, guest houses and related facilities that radiate the unique culture and hospitality of Barbados and Barbadians.

Thus, if there is to be any further tourism related development along Browne’s Bay, let us ensure that it is owned by and evocative of Barbadians. And let Brown’s Beach always remain a place where Barbadians feel at home!



Rock Hard Cement, Hyatt Hotel, Villages at Coverley AND Mark Maloney

At the BCCI luncheon in November 2017 Mia Mottley- the featured speaker- shocked many with the revelation that one company (individual) in Barbados was able to secure ONE BILLION dollars in government contracts. The company (individual) is Preconco (Mark Maloney) of course.

Those who traverse the ABC highway airport stretch cannot help but notice the many houses at different stages of construction. A reminder this is a failed Mark Maloney project.

Those who have reason to travel by the proposed Hyatt Hotel location on Lower Broad Street all that is visible are two Robinson Crusoe like thatched huts. Clearly the contentious Hyatt hotel will not be completed during the tenure of the incumbent government. Another Mark Maloney project the government has been unable to mobilize.

Another contentious Mark Maloney initiative is the area located on the Barbados Port Authority compound where Mark Maloney stores his Rock Hard cement. As far as the BU household is aware a stop order was issued by the Barbados Courts for Mark Maloney to cease and desist from constructing the shelter where rock hard cement is being stored. To the surprise of many BU observed recently that Mark Maloney has continued construction of the storage area. Did the court give Maloney permission (in secret?)

Should Barbadians be fine with one man securing so many projects?


Barbados Courts Delivers Double Whammy to Government

Submitted by Mark Jones

Justice Cornelius (l) next to BLP candidate and husband Ralph Thorne (r)


The talk around town this week was about the double whammy the Government got in the same day with two important decision going against them.

The Government lost the Hyatt case against Comissiong and they lost the case with the BIDC. The Bees in the bar were gloating about the licks Hal Gollop and Michael Yearwood got in the two cases but a man in the crowd thought the whole thing was very suspicious to him. He thought it was a STRANGE COINCIDENCE that the two cases could be decided on the same afternoon one after the other. He said he was waiting to get his hand on the BIDC decision but he had seen a copy of a decision his friend had in the Hyatt case and could not understand how the judge Dr Sonia Richards could arrive at the decision she gave; all the reasoning pointed to the fact that she should have ruled against Commisiong being allowed to contest the case but she held otherwise. He also said that it was clear to him from the manner in which the judgment criticises itself that at least two different persons wrote the decision.

The other case was before Cornelius, the wife of BLP Politician and Candidate Ralph Thorne!

My man said it appeared to him that the two judges had some agenda other than law and he felt that politics had now raised its head among the judiciary. It is known that Gollop and Yearwood are two Dems lawyers and they had to put the two of them in their place! The man continued that it is now a sad thing for Barbados that people are losing faith in the judiciary. If the judiciary is now engaging in corrupt practices and lawyers are being targeted where will this all end?

Also a very serious and pointed concern has been raised by a senior QC from the region who has also questioned why judge Cornelius did not recluse herself from this very political fuelled case such as this BIDC case being the wife of a BLP Candidate Ralph Thorne?

And it is also being asked why the judge Richards did not recuse herself since she is a known active Methodist!

Relevant Links:

The online paper said Gollop immediately informed that he was appealing the decision but it was noticeable that he did not speak to the press. On the other hand Comissiong was holding forth. The other matter raised was how he could suddenly be questioning every decision the Government takes. The feeling is that can only happen because there is a number of anti government judges sitting in the bench. It is not known if Yearwood will also be appealing his decision but whatever happens these two decisions have raised eyebrows among the public and likely to create serious doubts about the ability of judges on the bench to give a fair decision on the law before them and not which party the person involve support.

The public must be confident that when they go to court that they will be treated fairly but this now seems very suspect!

Important Documents About the Hyatt Hotel for Your (Public) Information

Please find attached hereto extracts from the following Hyatt related documents:-

(1) Memorandum dated 21st April 2016 from the Chief Town Planner to the Permanent Secretary (Defence and Security) in the Prime Minister’s Office outlining concerns that the Barbados National Trust and the Barbados Museum and Historical Society had with the proposal to construct a 15 storey hotel;

(2) A Heritage Impact Assessment that was submitted by the developer. PLEASE  PAY  PARTICULAR  ATTENTION  TO THE  PICTURE  ON  PAGE 3 OF THIS  DOCUMENT depicting  the proposed development in context.

Read full documentsHyatt Important Documents

Why are they so Concerned about a Judge Reviewing the Hyatt Matter?


Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

In August 2016 I– David Comissiong — wrote to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in his capacity as Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning and informed him that the Law of Barbados stipulated that the application made by Mr Mark Maloney’s company for permission to construct a 15 storey hotel on the beach at Carlisle Bay had to be subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), inclusive of at least one public Town Hall meeting BEFORE any decision could be made on the Application.

In my said letter to Mr Stuart I stressed that the proposed project could possibly be very detrimental to the physical, social, and cultural environment of Barbados and needed to be carefully and thoroughly scrutinized through the staging of an EIA. I also stressed that the people of Barbados needed to be given an opportunity to have a say on the proposed project through at least one public Town Hall meeting.

Needless-to-say, Mr Stuart never even acknowledged my letter, much less did he deign to respond to it! Rather, in February 2017, Mr Stuart proceeded to grant Maloney’s company the permission to build their 15 storey hotel without having had the findings of an EIA or the Report of a Public Town Hall meeting to guide him in the making of his decision.

It is against this background that I decided that it was necessary to ask a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados to review the manner in which Mr Stuart had processed the Application in question, and determine whether or not the Application had been properly and lawfully processed by Mr Stuart. This legal procedure is known as Judicial Review.

I therefore filed an Application for Judicial Review in March 2017, and attached to that Application a request that the Court should grant an “interim order” suspending the permission granted to Maloney’s company until the Court has the opportunity to “hear” the entire matter and make a decision. To date,there has not yet been any substantive hearing of the Judicial Review application nor the attached request for an “interim order”.

Since then, however, a number of persons have jumped out of the proverbial wood-work to attack me for daring to request that the manner in which Mr. Stuart processed the said Application be reviewed and scrutinized by a Supreme Court Judge.

The obvious question that comes to mind is this: “If these persons are so sure that the Application of Maloney’s company was properly processed, and that all the applicable rules and regulations were followed, then why are they so apprehensive about a Judge of the Supreme Court reviewing the matter”?

Why are these people attacking me for exercising my Constitutional right to ask our Supreme Court to review the actions of a Minister of Government?

Why– some four months AFTER the Minister made his decision to grant permission — is Maloney feverishly staging public relations exercises in the form of a so-called “public interactive discussion’?

If they are all so certain that everything is legal and above board, why are they all so agitated?

I for my part am content to let a Judge of our Supreme Court examine all of the available evidence  and make an objective decision on the matter. Furthermore, if it is found that the relevant rules and regulations demand that an EIA be staged, it would be folly of the highest order to permit this project to go ahead in the absence of such an EIA.


They Making (HYATT) Mock Sport at WE!

Submitted by David Comissiong, Citizen Advocate

Mark Maloney – Vision Development Inc

Over the past week or so an entity named “Hyatt Centric Development Team” has been sending out invitations inviting selected persons to a “public interactive discussion on the project” at the “site of the Hyatt Centric Resort, Carlisle Bay, Bay Street, Bridgetown” on Saturday June 10th, 2017.”

This development constitutes a callous “slap in the face” of all Barbadians and a monumental insult to our intelligence!

Indeed,these people are so contemptuous of us that they are bold-facedly holding a public town hall meeting (or as they term it— a public interactive discussion) NOT during the period  of the processing of the application; NOT prior to the Minister making a decision on the application, but some four (4) months AFTER the Minister has made his decision to grant permission to construct the controversial hotel!

This meaningless town hall meeting is therefore simply a window dressing and public relations exercise on the part of the developer ! It has no substance or utility!

The whole purpose of a public town hall meeting is to give the Citizens and residents an input or say in the decision-making process BEFORE any decision is made by the authorities.

Indeed, when a public town hall meeting is held as part of the processing of an application for a construction project it is stipulated that a record MUST be made of the meeting, and that the record must be forwarded to the Town and Country Planning authorities for their consideration PRIOR to the making of a decision on the application.

I wish to reiterate that the application of Mr Mark Maloney’s company for permission to construct a 15 storey hotel on the beach at Carlisle Bay required that the proposed project be subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)  BEFORE any decision could be properly made on the application. And the staging of a serious and meaningful public town hall meeting would have been an integral requirement of the EIA process!

Here, for the record , is what our Town and Country Planning Department’s “Handbook and Guide To Town Planning” says about this matter:-


Any application to the Chief Town Planner which requires the preparation of an environmental impact assessment SHALL be the subject of a PUBLIC  MEETING. The EIA report shall be made available to the public for a period of not less than twenty-eight (28) days to allow for perusal and scrutiny. The EIA report SHALL be made available within the community, district or main public library and the Town and Country Development Planning Office.

No later than fourteen(14) days after the public meeting the applicant is REQUIRED  TO  SUBMIT  THE  REPORT  OF  THE  PROCEEDINGS  TO  THE  CHIEF  TOWN  PLANNER.


The public meeting shall be advertised on local media and at least one daily newspaper announcing the availability of the EIA report at the commencement of the twenty-eight day period. The advertisement should occupy at least one quarter page in the newspaper and should be bold and noticeable.

Furthermore, Section 12.2 of our country’s Physical Development Plan stipulates that “where Environmental Impact Assessments are required they shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner  PRIOR to approval being given“.

In light of the foregoing, the proverbial “Six Million Dollar Question” is :- “Why wasn’t this particular project subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment, inclusive of a substantive and meaningful public town hall meeting in which we— the people of Barbados– could have asked serious questions, demanded answers, and recorded any concerns or objections that we might have about the project ???

Somebody will have to answer this question , whether that answer is provided in the public domain or in the confines of a Court room.

Prime Minister Stuart Deigns to Speak

Will Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

This week the Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart deign to address an issue which has been of concern to many Barbadians. It is an open secret David Comissiong’s challenge  of the decision to grant approval to Mark Maloney of Vision Development Inc to build the Hyatt Centric Resort on Bay Street reported to cost USD100 million has rubbed the Barbados government the wrong way. Minister Denis Kellman has declared Comissiong an enemy of the state. Minister Donville Inniss has dived in with his usual rhetoric by stating he would, if he had the time, stand in protest outside  David Comissiong’s place of work. It is ironic to note that our laws support Kellman’s labelling of Comissiong as an enemy of the statement as well as Inniss’ bluster to protest outside Comissiong’s office.

Prime Minister Stuart’s response to the Hyatt issue is interesting. He seems to be of the view that citizen advocate David Comissiong’s application for a judicial review is not supported by the law. We say to Stuart if he believes such is the case why not let the Court decide where the matter has been delayed a hearing because of the unavailability of the judge?  In the matter of Michael Carrington withholding clients funds from a client your response was to advise him to seek redress in the form of acquiring legal counsel. Why not be consistent and allow the legal apparatus to work for Comissiong who has followed the advice you gave to Michael Carrington who stole- or more euphemistically- withheld $244,000 dollars from a wheelchair bound septuagenarian?

BU’s position is a matter of public record. The attack on citizen advocate David Comissiong’s right to access the laws of Barbados by members of the Cabinet of Barbados is the issue BU will steadfastly defend.  In fact, we go further to question why the large cadre of lawyers registered to operate in Barbados have up to now avoided the opportunity their training affords them to be ideal citizen advocates. In a democracy it is critical for citizens to organize to pressure the “establishment” and to date the legal fraternity has been delinquent as a group.

The position prime minster Stuart has taken to question the legal grounding of Comissiong’s judicial review application was made the more interesting by a recent decision handed down by Privy Council  of England in the matter originating from Trinidad & Tobago Reginald Dumas v Police Service Commission on the right of the High Court to hear an application by a citizen to interpret a provision of the Constitution. The gist of the Privy Council’s decision is that there is merit under the law to entertain an application from a citizen if it was deemed in the public interest.

What does the Barbados law support Mr. Prime Minister?

We note that you have not quoted any law to support your position and until you do it will be punished with laughter by onlookers. It must gnaw at your innards that Comissiong wrestled the amendment to the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulation 2015 to the ground and he now has the Hyatt project in his sight. The pressure you and members of the government must be absorbing from those who are demanding a return on the 2013 campaign financing contribution must dig deep.

Here is the link to the Reginald Dumas v Police Service Commission report – Appointments to Police Service Commission …DUMAS WINS AT PRIVY COUNCIL

David Comissiong Branded Enemy of the State

David Comissiong – Citizen Advocate

“An idiot is in the House of Parliament recommending that there are 15 – 17000 unoccupied houses in Barbados and Government should look at compulsorily acquiring them to either sell or rent. Pray tell when would THIS government pay the owners for their land. There is currently a plantation about to declare bankruptcy due to compulsorily acquired land and non payment by government. Is this a new form of democracy? Maybe it is time for the citizens to compulsorily acquire unused land and buildings from government and then set the price to be paid whenever they feel like”.BU Commentator Fearplay

Members of the BU household vividly recall at the height of the Cahill debate Senators Maxine McClean and Verla De Peiza  empathic in their condemnation of the BU household for leaking documents. Both of them went as far to suggest the household had committed a treasonous act. The decision to shutdown the Tees Valley 1 and 2 project in the UK has vindicated the BU household and other Barbadians who expressed concern. At the top of the list of concerns raised by Barbadians about the Cahill gasification was government approving the untested technology on a 166 square mile island. Thankfully in April 2016 Air Products- the developer of Tees Valley 1 and 2 -issued a statement to the effect that “additional design and operational challenges would require significant time and cost to rectify” the problem of constructing a gasification plant to process 700,000 tonnes of feedstock every year. The Cahill plant in Barbados was proposed to handle 650 tonnes of waste per day.

Today Minister Denis Kellman under the cloak of parliamentary privilege labelled citizen advocate David Comissiong as an enemy of the state –his crime, seeking a judicial review of government’s decision to approve the construction of the proposed 15 story Hyatt hotel at lower Bay Street. Kellman’s characterization of Comissiong for exercising a right under our law. The BU community was reminded by a family member that there is similar concerns being raised in London about the construction of high rise buildings, to quote him:- “in a city already plastered with “tall” buildings, matters like location, design and impact on character setting are still relevant. Yet we in Barbados supporting Hyatt” – read related article How new skyscrapers including the 1,000ft Trellis will transform London’s skyline.

To restate BU’s concern here is an extract from a BU blog:

If commonsense was not enough to support an EIA as a condition for approval for the Hyatt hotel project, the BU family was directed to the Draft Physical Development Plan (DPDP) dated February 2017 posted to the Town Planning Department website. Not only does the DPDP call for an EIS to be used as a tool to assess proposed development and a condition for approval, also, Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), Agricultural Impact Assessments (AIA), Traffic Impact Assessments (TIA) where deemed relevant. Here is a quote from the DPDP:

Where ESIAs, HIA, AIS or TIA (Impact Assessments) are required, they shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner, prior to approval being given. Approvals of development subject to Impact Assessments may contain certain conditions of approval to ensure that adverse impacts of such development are mitigated. 


After suffering through some of the debate this afternoon in the Lower House several of the government members of parliament who spoke did not address the reason raised by Comissiong in his application for judicial review. They saw no need for transparency by including the people of the area in the transaction. To this day Barbadians have not been told how Vision Development Inc proposes to finance the project. Of the 100 million to be invested what will be the net foreign exchange inflow. This is the nature of the politics we practice in Barbados. 

One can only marvel at the statement attributed to Minister of Housing Denis Kellman quoted at the top of the blog.  He made mention of 5×16 to explain the level of occupancy at the GROTTO. Who can translate? Did Minister Sinckler state he is willing to challenge anyone that there was overruns associated with the GROTTO project? Is he challenging the Auditor General of Barbados who was scathing in his concerns? See Special Auditor General Report 2016 – Special Audit on the National Housing Corporation High Rise Apartments at Grotto and Valerie



News Media Invited to Ask Permission to Attend Hyatt Interlocutory Hearing in Chambers

The Honourable Mr. Justice Randall Worrell

Dear Members of the Media,

As you would be aware, the hearing of my Interlocutory Application for an Interim Order suspending the grant of permission to Mr. Mark Maloney’s company pending the full hearing of my Judicial Review application, is scheduled to be held in the Chambers of Justice Randall Worrell at 9:30AM on Tuesday 25th April 2017.

Under the Constitution of Barbados, all legal proceedings are to be open to the public unless there is some special reason for excluding members of the public (inclusive of members of the news media). There is no reason why members of the news media should be excluded from the hearing tomorrow. In fact, I would welcome the idea of having members of the media present in the Judge’s Chambers tomorrow morning to hear and report upon the proceedings in this case that has such great public import.

In the circumstances, I would like to suggest that one or more manager (s) of the various media houses approach Justice Worrell for permission for representatives of the news media to attend the hearing in his Chambers tomorrow morning.

David Comissiong

David Comissiong Responds to Sinckler and Inniss and their Demagoguery


Ministers Donville Inniss and Chris Sinckler

Perhaps Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler  and Minister of Industry Donville Inniss could explain to us Barbadians how the process of having Mr Mark Maloney construct a  hotel at Bay Street, St Michael would boost Barbados’ reserves of foreign exchange.

It would seem to me that Mr Maloney would be likely to use up and further deplete Barbados’ reserves of foreign exchange during the process of constructing his hotel, since most of the construction material that he would be using would be imported into Barbados and would therefore have to be purchased with our scarce foreign exchange.

Any possible foreign exchange earnings from such a project would clearly be several years down the road, if and when the hotel gets up and going and is able to attract additional foreign tourists to our Island.

Furthermore, it is factually incorrect to suggest that I, David Comissiong, have had Maloney’s project put on hold by way of a High Court injunction. Rather, what I have done is to ask a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados to subject the grant of permission to Maloney’s company to a process of JUDICIAL  REVIEW.

The facts are as follows:-

In July 2016 Mr. Mark Maloney made a public statement  asserting that he would be commencing the construction of a 15 storey Hyatt hotel in September 2016 .

I then responded to Maloney’s statement by writing  to BOTH the Chief Town Planner and the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning (Mr Freundel Stuart) expressing consternation at Maloney’s statement, and asserting that the Law of the land demanded that Maloney’s application be subjected to a physical and social “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA).

Needless to say, I received no response from either the Chief Town Planner or the Minister — not even a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of my letter !

Furthermore, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart — the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning — ultimately went ahead and simply granted Maloney’s company permission to construct their 15 storey hotel without having the benefit of the findings of an Environmental Impact Assessment to guide and inform him in the making of his decision.

It is against this background that I decided that it had become necessary to have a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados examine the manner in which Mr Stuart had dealt with the application of Maloney’s company, and determine whether Stuart’s decision was lawfully made. This legal procedure is known as JUDICIAL  REVIEW and it is provided for by the Administrative Justice Act, Chapter 109 B of the Laws of Barbados.

It needs to be noted that under the Laws of Barbados there is a category of construction projects that require the carrying out of an Environmental Impact Assessment “BEFORE” any permission can be granted for them to go ahead. And this is so because these projects possess the potential to do serious damage to the precious physical and social environment of our country.

It is therefore in the best interest of our country to have a Judge of the Supreme Court examine Mr Maloney’s project and its implications for the physical , social, cultural and heritage environment of Barbados, and determine whether the manner in which the Application for the project was processed by the Minister was in compliance with the standards and procedures required by the Laws of Barbados.  This is what the Application for Judicial Review that I filed in the Court on the 22nd March 2017 is all about.

I also subsequently filed an Interlocutory Application requesting that the Court grant an INTERIM  ORDER suspending the Grant of Permission to Maloney’s company  until the Court can hear and make a decision on the JUDICIAL  REVIEW application. This request for an INTERIM  ORDER is in keeping with Section 72 of the Town and Country Planning Act of Barbados. However, this Interlocutory Application has not yet been dealt with by the Supreme Court of Barbados.

Furthermore, Mr Stuart, the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning, has indicated that he is opposing the request for an INTERIM  ORDER suspending the grant of permission to Maloney’s company while the Court carries out the process of JUDICIAL  REVIEW.

Thus, as of today’s date, the grant of permission to Maloney’s company still remains in effect, and, to the best of my knowledge, Maloney is continuing to do work on the Bay Street site.

Ultimately, a Supreme Court judge will review this entire matter and will determine whether the permission that was granted to Maloney’s company was lawfully or unlawfully granted. If it is determined that the permission was not lawfully granted, one would then expect the Court to quash the decision and the permission.


Submitted by David Andre Comissiong, Citizen Advocate

The Claim or Application that was filed in the Supreme Court of Barbados on the 22nd of March 2017 entitled “David Andre Comissiong  v  Freundel Stuart, Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning” constitutes an application for “Judicial Review” of the legality (or lack thereof) of the process by which the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning purported to grant permission to construct a 15 storey hotel on beachfront land at Bay Street, St. Michael.

However, it is clear to me from a number of the questions that have been posed to me since the filing of the Claim on 22nd March 2017 that there is not a very good popular understanding of this extremely important legal proceeding known as “Judicial Review”.

Basically, the power of “Judicial Review” is the power that the Supreme Court possesses to exercise scrutiny and control over the procedures that subordinate bodies (such as Ministers of Government and heads of Government departments) are required by law to undertake when exercising their decision-making and other functions.

Thus, in the case in question, the Barbadian citizen known as David Andre Comissiong has simply requested a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados to examine and scrutinize the process that the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning applied to the making of his decision to grant the permission in question, in order to determine whether the Minister adhered to all of the applicable rules and regulations.

The legal procedure known as “Judicial Review” is governed by the Administrative Justice Act, Chapter 109 B of the Laws of Barbados, and gives the Supreme Court the power to scrutinize and exercise control over any “administrative act or omission” of a “Minister, public official, tribunal, board, committee or other authority of the Government of Barbados exercising……. any power or duty conferred or imposed by the Constitution (of Barbados) or by any (statutory) enactment.”

And under Section 6 of the Act, the Court is empowered to entertain applications for Judicial Review that are made by any person “whose interests are adversely affected by an administrative act or omission” or “any other person, if the Court is satisfied that that person’s application is justifiable in the public interest.”

The background to my filing this particular Application for Judicial Review is that in August 2016 — after Mr. Mark Maloney had made a public statement asserting that the construction of a 15 storey Hyatt hotel would be commencing in September 2016 — I wrote to BOTH the Chief Town Planner and the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning expressing consternation at Maloney’s statement, and asserting that the Law of the land demanded that Maloney’s application be subjected to a physical and social “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA).

Needless to say, I received no response from either the Chief Town Planner or the Minister — not even a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of my letter!

Furthermore, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart — the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning — ultimately went ahead and simply granted Maloney’s company permission to construct their 15 storey hotel without having the benefit of the findings of an Environmental Impact Assessment to guide and inform him in the making of his decision.

It is against this background that I decided that it had become necessary to have a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados examine the manner in which Mr Stuart had dealt with the application of Maloney’s company, and determine whether Stuart’s decision was lawfully made.

It needs to be noted that there is a category of construction projects that require the carrying out of an Environmental Impact Assessment “before” any permission can be granted for them to go ahead. And this is so because these projects possess the potential to do serious damage to the precious physical and social environment of our beloved country.

It is therefore in the best interest of our country to have a Judge of the Supreme Court examine Mr Maloney’s project and its implications for the physical , social, cultural and heritage environment of Barbados, and determine whether the manner in which the Application for the project was processed by the Minister was in compliance with the standards and procedures required by the Laws of Barbados.

Hyatt and BNTCL Conundrum

The Cabinet of Barbados

Peter Wickham described Barbados Underground recently as the Eric Fly of this time. Living up to the characterization- although a more euphemistic description in the view of the BU household is that we are a fiercely patriotic Bajan family -two recent events should give Barbadians reason to pause.

The Hyatt Hotel project to be developed by a local company under the title Vision Development with principal Mark Maloney, AND, the BNTLC sale to SOL have been forced to freeze rollout because the court has issued injunctions. David Comissiong in his capacity as a concerned citizen advocate was successful in the case of the Hyatt Hotel project and RUBIS Barbados the other.

Why are the two events important?

Barbados continues to be affected by a protracted weak economic performance triggered by the global economic crisis of 2008. We are a country dependant on revenues from tourism,  international business and foreign direct investment. Economic analysts agree if Barbados is to support the standard of living we have become accustomed and addicted- one largely built on consumption behaviour -it is important for the three sectors to be performing together. Although the government promotes the ‘success’ of the tourism sector, unfortunately it does not have the earning capacity to satisfy our level of expenditure.   This is important because Barbados is a significant net importer of goods and services and saddled with the current economic model means we must EARN and BORROW foreign exchange to ballance the chequebook.

In the 2017-2018 Estimates Debate foreign inflows announced by the minister of finance Chris Sinckler to be generated from the Hyatt and BNTCL projects were expected to top up government’s dwindling foreign reserves.  Sinckler’s position echoed that of the Prime Minister’s delivered at the BCCI luncheon in January of this year:

These “delayed inflows” that were on the way included funds from China for the start of the construction of the new Sam Lord’s Castle, and the expected sale of the BNTCL to Simpson Oil Ltd. for US$100m. Mr. Stuart said that within a week of the luncheon he expected to be able to give the green light to the proposed Hyatt Hotel project in Bridgetown, and then offered a list of upcoming hotel projects which would bring more foreign investment into the country – Broad Street Journal

Now that David Comissiong and RUBIS Barbados have been granted a temporary injunction by the Courts of Barbados one has to ask how will this affect government’s plan to generate economic activity and to earn foreign exchange.  It is important for Barbados to break free from the anaemic economic performance of the past eight years if only to dissuade the analysts from S&P and Moody’s from assigning a credit rating of D. Contrary to the view of government talking heads, further credit rating downgrades will continue to chase away foreign investors. BU is acutely aware however that we are in the silly season. The timely rollout of the Hyatt project and sale of BNTCL will have a negative impact on government’s economic plan. BU speculates if the decision to seek injunctive relief by RUBIS was triggered by a green light notification from the FTC.

In a situation where two significant projects will suffer delays a normal response from a responsible government would have been to issue a statement informing the citizenry of plan B. Not surprising  however has been the silence from the Stuart administration since the development. After all this is a government that has distinguished itself by giving lie to Abraham Lincoln’s view of how a democratic government should function by being a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

We enjoy the silence.

Draft Physical Development Plan Calls for Impact Assessments –Hyatt Hotel to be Built WITHOUT Impact Assessment Studies

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Some are of the mistaken view that BU is anti-investment because we have advocated against projects like Cahill Energy and of most recent, the Hyatt Hotel project. Let us be pellucid as the English language allows, we are NOT. Instead all we ask is for our government to be forthcoming with relevant and timely information to ensure the citizenry is kept informed as is our right under our system of government. Pages of Auditor General reports support the scepticism of citizens that successive government have surrendered to corrupt behaviour and lazy management practices. If there was doubt the the recent Cahill Energy fiasco with a preponderance of  evidence confirmed the Stuart government made many questionable decisions. How are citizens expected to be confident in this government to implement large projects? Of recent there is the Del Maestro transaction which provokes the obvious questions: what would have motivated the principals of Deltro to freight millions of dollars in equipment to Barbados –stored at the Barbados ort Authority -BEFORE approvals from the Town Planning Department and the relevant government ministries  are approved?

The Hyatt hotel project continues to generate a lot of chatter. At first many reacted to the fact that Mark Maloney, a principal in Vision Development Incorporated responsible for mobilizing the project, was again the face of a major project in Barbados. Of recent, the conversation has rightly shifted to the fact Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and therefore the Hyatt hotel should blend with the surrounding environment.

After waiting months on Prime Minister Stuart to approve the Hyatt project when the Town Planning Department kicked it upstairs, it was reported last week that the the green light was finally given.  Surprisingly,  the media report claimed that  an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was vetoed for the project after the government was advised by lawyers it is not required. Who are these lawyers? Are they from the Solicitor’s Office?

Commonsense supports the expectation that an EIA is absolutely necessary to be conducted to support a project given its mooted footprint. The footprint is defined as a hotel with 237 rooms, to be built on 3 acres of beachfront land. We will have to wait for information to trickle to the people of the number of storeys approved. To be expected the government read Prime  Minister Stuart has not called what should be the obligatory press conference to update Barbadians . This is the scant regard these educated members of the political class hold Barbadians. This was confirmed recently in parliament by Minister Steve Blackett who questioned why a town hall was necessary.  BU will resist the temptation to go low, JA.

If commonsense was not enough to support an EIA as a condition for approval for the Hyatt hotel project, the BU family was directed to the Draft Physical Development Plan (DPDP) dated February 2017 posted to the Town Planning Department website. Not only does the DPDP call for an EIS to be used as a tool to assess proposed development and a condition for approval, also, Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), Agricultural Impact Assessments (AIA), Traffic Impact Assessments (TIA) where deemed relevant. Here is a quote from the DPDP:

Where ESIAs, HIA, AIS or TIA (Impact Assessments) are required, they shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner, prior to approval being given. Approvals of development subject to Impact Assessments may contain certain conditions of approval to ensure that adverse impacts of such development are mitigated.

We have the report of last week that an EIA is not required for the project. We have the report extracted from the DPDP that supports Impact Assessments to be completed as condition for approval by TPD. Will anybody inform the citizens of Barbados what the hell is going on?

EIA (Town Halls) Not Required for HYATT Hotel Project –say the LAWYERS

Submitted by Anthony Davis

Hyatt modelMinister of Social Care Steve Blackett wants to know why ‘town hall meetings are needed now for every project…Were there town hall meetings when they imploded the Hilton Hotel?” he asked in reference to the Opposition Barbados Labour Party…Blackett said: “What are they talking about, we are an action Government” while blaming the Opposition for the poor state of the Empire Theatre, which has been out of use for the past 24 years” – page 6 of Barbados TODAY dated February 7, 2017

Pray tell me Mr. Minister, did you not say that your Government is a “people-centred” one?

If it is, that is what such a Government does – keep the populace informed, and that’s the best way of so doing.

If you are “an action Government” why haven’t you grabbed the bull by the horns -instead of just looking at pointing fingers at the Opposition – and repaired the theatre?

You are in power almost nine years now, and you had the time so to do.

Were the Chinese the only people you could turn to?

Seeing that you are “an action Government”, why not do something relevant and show us that you are really one and beside, a “people-centred” one?

How about rectifying the situation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the Geriatric Hospital and Psychiatric Hospital where conditions are not conducive to the nurses working there – so much so that they are leaving for greener pastures?

Giving Hyatt permission to build a 12- or 15-storey twin-tower hotel on Browne’s beach is great action against the populace of this country!

Not knowing how high the building is to be should be reason enough to turn down the application!

Promise and Practicality of Hyatt: Sifting Through the Absence of an EIA

Dr. George Brathwaite

Dr. George Brathwaite (PhD)

In recent times, the Barbados Government has not done the best job of communicating with its citizens and residents. Worse, numerous persons in the island are calling out for enhanced transparency and accountability – perhaps in vain; but receiving calculated spin and often deft silence to their appeals. The governing continues to deride such practices of good governance, and make manifesto promises and administrative best practices seem elusive and far adrift from the ideal. The saviour on many occasions has seldom been investigative journalism from the local media. Rather, the Leader of the Opposition and her team continue to expose and push back against the secrecy that has become normal in the scheme of governance under the intellectually stirred but sluggishly compromised Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. There will always be consequences for the choices made.

Activists such as David Comissiong and ‘independent’ advocates for good governance are repeatedly speaking out against perceived and actual infelicities by the government. These persons continue to be adamant that the local officials must do much more to meet the expectations of the people while advancing the national interest first. There can be no doubt that both the executive and legislative branches of government, although leaving much to be desired, ought to be more informative to the public. Government decisions must engender greater national participation and major projects must become implemented with adherence to stipulated laws and regulations, especially regarding procurement, concessions, and payment details. Politicians’ choices, pronouncements and actions will ultimately affect people’s livelihoods and those of generations to come.

It is precisely against this overarching setting of good governance for sustainable development that this article intends to examine the promise and practicality of the proposed Hyatt project to be constructed in Barbados. Why should the construction of any major project consider sustainable development? The concept of sustainable development has rightfully become inherent on any serious discussion of policymaking and project implementation in the annals of national development. The term sustainable development can be described as enhancing quality of life and thus allowing people to live in a healthy environment and improve social, economic and environmental conditions for present and future generations (Oritz et al., 2009: 29).

Furthermore, over the last decade, there have been several proposals and initiatives pushed by the Government of Barbados for bringing the notion of ‘greening’ into national development. PM Stuart, in the foreword of the Green Economy Scoping Study (GESS) contended that: “What is critical for Barbados and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is that the Green Economy debate recognizes our structural vulnerabilities, offers a model to assist us in further realising our sustainable development aspirations, and creates the institutional platform that would enable us to participate in innovative partnerships in the fight to save our planet, against mounting unsustainable consumption and production patterns”. Surely, as the leader of Government, and the person with whom planning permission for the Hyatt revolves, PM Stuart must believe what he is on record of advocating.

The construction is proposed for the Carlisle Bay area which is within the precincts of the UNESCO designated world heritage site of historic Bridgetown and the popular Browne’s Beach. Indeed, the intended construction will be done beachside, and it is to be multiple-storeys (15), and is expected to bring significant economic returns to a virtual dormant city area. Unfortunately, the seeming attempts by the current administration to sift through the broiling political exchanges and to go ahead with the project even in the absence of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) are alarming. An EIA is the ‘process of evaluating the likely environmental consequences of a proposed major action significantly affecting the natural and man-made environment’ (Wathern, 1988). The concerns in Barbados and specific to the Hyatt are crucial and are inclusive of social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors.

While it is fair to say that urban development and renewal are necessary for the greater Bridgetown area, there are several constraints mitigating against the Hyatt project. The sheer magnitude of the proposed Hyatt project makes it economically promising. Yet, one cannot refuse to engage the residents and citizens of Barbados, and certainly one cannot get around discussing the key issues of resource efficiency, reducing waste and the use of toxic substances, enhancing water efficiency and sustainable site development, transportation, as well as raising the consciousness of practitioners in the construction in a Heritage area that is also on the coastline offering a major open-window to the sea. Despite the potential economic goods, the Hyatt project may negatively and profoundly alter the character of the Bridgetown area in ways that are unrecoverable. The very thought of likely creating environmental disaster is antithetical to sustainable development and fashioning a green economy.

In real terms, Barbados is falling short on governance. By governance, this article considers “how one gets to act, through what types of interactions (deliberation, negotiation, self-regulation or authoritative choice) and the extent to which actors adhere to collective decisions. It involves the level and scope of political allocation, the dominant orientation of state, and other institutions and their interactions” (Eden and Hampson 1997, p.362). After 50 years of Independence, there is no doubt that Barbados is compelled to ensure that its governance structures organise negotiation processes, determine objectives, influence motivations, set standards, perform allocation functions, monitor compliance, impose penalties, initiate and/or reduce conflict, and resolve disputes among the many stakeholders some of whom would obviously be external to Barbados.

Nevertheless, and specifically dealing with construction in a sustainable manner, the GESS recognises that: ‘The construction of commercial and residential buildings puts a strain on natural and human resources through energy use, land use, the removal of natural materials, transportation of construction materials, liquid and solid waste generation, poor utilisation and recycling of building materials and the use of hazardous building materials’. With the Government knowing and articulating these factors, why would the Freundel Stuart administration appear to be dodging the prime opportunity to discuss at a national level these environmental and greening concerns as they relate to the Hyatt project?

The DLP’s 2013 Manifesto pledge at page 49 states that: “The preservation of the natural environment is absolutely critical to the social and economic future of Barbados. For example, tourism, the major foreign exchange earner is dependent on the natural resource base of the economy as a source of land to provide tourism infrastructure and the provision of water, food, a clean marine environment, and natural attractions such as the Harrison’s Cave. Government has an inescapable responsibility to assume the lead responsibility for ensuring that the environment is managed effectively. The process of environmental care is the concern of every citizen and resident of Barbados (my emphasis in bold italics). Is it a definite walk away from the DLP’s pledge of 2013 when the Prime Minister and his Cabinet fail to utilise the tools of an EIA and make available forums for engaging the public on the Hyatt project. The EIA is therefore an anticipatory, participatory, environmental management tool, the most visible manifestation of which is the environmental impact statement that would be derived from the findings of the technocrats and state officials (Wood and Dejeddour, 1992: 3). There are too many interlinking issues that are critical to Barbados’ sustainable development which cannot be overlooked if good governance best practices are to be followed.

Stuart is Wrong!

Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, Citizen of Barbados
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

So, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart chose an exclusive luncheon of the elite Barbados Chamber of Commerce to announce to an audience of business executives that he will be granting permission for Mr Mark Maloney to construct his proposed 15 storey hotel on Browne’s Beach!

Well, the fundamental questions I have for Mr Stuart are as follows:-

(1) When were the people – the ordinary Barbadian Citizens and residents – of the affected communities consulted by you or by the Town Planning Department that you have ministerial responsibility for, prior to your coming to this decision?  (And I am referring here to the thousands of ordinary black working class Barbadians who reside in Wellington Street, Pondside, London Bourne Towers, and other surrounding residential areas, as well as to the thousands of Barbadians who religiously avail themselves of Browne’s Beach.)

(2) When did you or the applicant company, Visions Development Inc., hold even ONE Town Hall Meeting with the ordinary citizens of Barbados – particularly with residents of the nearby communities – so that you could be informed about their views, prior to your making this decision?

(3) Why is there such a record of your Administration time after time bending over backwards to confer all sorts of outrageously privileged contractual arrangements on Mr Mark Maloney or on companies that are controlled by the said Mark Maloney – Storage Solutions Limited (payment of rental fees in the sum of $2,150,000.00 per year over 20 years for the rental of 3 molasses storage tanks); Housing Concepts SRL (an agreement to purchase any of the houses constructed at Coverley that Maloney is not able to sell to the public); Bushy Park Circuit Inc (appropriating Bushy Park from its lawful owner and virtually placing it in the hands of Maloney’s company); and the list goes on.

(4) Are you aware that this is the Barbados of 2017 and not the old colonialist and elitist Barbados of 1917, and that in today’s Barbados the masses of black working-class Citizens have a right to be consulted on major decisions that have the potential to significantly impact on them and their country?

(5) Are you aware that Barbados’ Town Planning Department as well as the major international environmental institutions such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) require the carrying out of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) as part of the procedure for processing applications of the magnitude of a 15 storey beach hotel, and that central to such EIAs is consultation with the people?  Are you aware that Town Hall Meetings are routinely held in Barbados as part of the procedure for processing applications for major projects?  Why is Mr Maloney’s application for a 15 storey beach hotel being treated so differently?

In light of the fact that Prime Minister Stuart has not consulted the people of the affected communities, the decision that he announced yesterday is WRONG!  It is politically wrong; sociologically wrong; procedurally wrong; ethically wrong; and in all likelihood legally wrong as well!

On the 24th of August 2016 I wrote to Mr Stuart and urged him as follows:-

“….please do the right thing by subjecting the proposal to construct a 15 storey hotel in Bridgetown to a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment, with the people of Barbados (and Bridgetown) being suitably notified and permitted to participate and make inputs.”

I also ended the letter by informing our Prime Minister that “I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.”

In the five (5) months that have elapsed since I hand-delivered that letter to Mr. Stuart’s office I have NEVER received even an acknowledgement from Mr Stuart, much less a substantive response. Yet, Mr Stuart– the Prime Minister of Barbados– is pictured on the front page of the Nation Newspaper gleefully shaking Maloney’s hand and “skinning and grinning” in his face. What a national embarrassment !

Mr. Stuart would do well to remember the old Bajan adage that–“if yuh start wrong yuh bound to end wrong.”

Mr Stuart was required to start with a consultation with the people of the relevant Bridgetown communities, and he has neglected or refused to do so.

I therefore believe that Mr Stuart has started wrong!

Minister Richard Sealy Should SHUT UP on the HYATT ISSUE

Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement
Richard Sealy - Minister of Tourism

Richard Sealy – Minister of Tourism

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy would be well advised to keep his mouth shut on the issue of the application by Visions Development Inc. (Mr. Mark Maloney’s company) to construct a 15 storey Hyatt hotel on Browne’s Beach.

The Law of Barbados — as spelt out in the Town and Country Planning Act and in various Orders made under that Act — stipulates that the Application in question has to be dealt with by the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning (the Prime Minister), and that it has to be subjected to an objective and impartial processing procedure that must take into account the provisions of the country’s Physical Development Plan and “other material considerations”.

Furthermore, the existing Town and Country Planning  policies and regulations establish that an Application of this nature also has to be subjected to an “Environmental Impact Assessment” exercise, inclusive of a Public Meeting with persons who reside within the vicinity of the proposed project.

It is only AFTER all of these processes have been completed that the Prime Minister would be in a position to conclude his processing of the Application and  to make a reasoned and informed decision.

It is therefore highly irregular and improper for Mr. Sealy, a senior Minister in Mr. Stuart’s Administration, to be “shooting off his mouth” and speaking out of turn by publicly declaring that Mr Maloney’s company will be given permission to construct the hotel in question.

If the procedure that is being applied to the processing of the Application is an independent and impartial one, and if this procedure is still on-going, then how could Mr Sealy be in a position to assert that Maloney’s company will get the permission?

Mr. Sealy’s public pronouncements are only serving to cast doubt on the independence, objectiveness and impartiality of the manner in which the processing of this Application by Mr. Maloney’s company is being conducted.

And if— at some point in the future — this matter becomes the subject of a Judicial Review application in the Supreme Court of Barbados, Mr. Sealy could rest assured that his out-of-turn public pronouncements and the doubt that they cast on the impartiality and legitimacy of the process applied to Maloney’s Application, will feature prominently.

Comissiong Responds to Nation Newspaper Editorial – TIME TO RE-THINK POLICY OF BUILDING ON OUR BEACHES

Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG, Citizen of Barbados
David Comissiong

David Comissiong

In the editorial entitled “Let’s be fair with Hyatt objections” published in the Weekend Nation of Friday the 2nd of September 2016, the Nation editorial- writer admonishes Barbadians like myself who oppose or have reservations about the proposed 15 storey Hyatt Hotel, to engage in thinking that “represents the national interest and not personal or narrow parochial or political motives.”

The editorial-writer goes on to acknowledge that vacant or available beachfront land is becoming increasingly scarce in Barbados, but then insinuates that the correct response to this situation is for the “regulators” to permit the construction of multi-storey hotels or other buildings (higher than six or seven storeys) on the remaining areas of available beachfront property!

Well, I would like to totally disagree with the position of the editorial-writer, and I would like to suggest that the diametrically opposite position that I hold is actually what in the best long term interest of Barbados! 

My position is that there are already too many hotels and other buildings constructed on the beaches of Barbados,and that the time has come for our nation to pause and to seriously rethink this policy of permitting the construction of hotels and other permanent structures on our beaches — particularly on those beaches that qualify as truly the most outstanding and beautiful beaches or beachfront areas of our country .

As we are all aware, Barbados’ number one industry is tourism, and our number one tourism attraction is the beautiful beaches of our country! Well, isn’t it a fact that we have done serious damage to the natural beauty of a vast number of the most outstanding and prized beaches of our country by permitting the construction of hotels and other buildings on these beaches?

Now, the mile long “Durban beach” in Durban, South Africa is reputed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Do you know how many hotels are built on Durban beach? Not a single one! All of the hotels are located on the land side of the Durban coastal highway!

The same is true of the world famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Indeed, even Miami beach in Florida has a fairly generous setback limitation from the coast, with minimal tourism construction being permitted on the beach side of the coastal highway.

As a matter of fact, many  countries have prohibited the construction of hotels on their most prized beaches, and several countries have imposed regulations that severely restrict the height of hotels, whether such hotels are located on the beach or on the land-side of the coastal highway!

Aren’t these policy positions that Barbados would do well to seriously contemplate?

Do we really want to see a Barbados in which our prized beachfront areas are inundated with giant 15 storey hotels?

Are tourists attracted to Barbados because of ultra-modern multi storey American-style hotels? Or isn’t it, rather, that they have an interest in experiencing the unique culture, heritage, social ambience and charm of Barbados and Barbadians? (And in answering this question, please refer to the fact that the single most popular tourist attraction in Barbados is the Oistins Fish Fry!)

I, for one, honestly believe that Barbados has had its fill of hotels on its most prized and popular beaches, and also its fill of foreign-owned hotels!

If it were left up to me, future tourism development in Barbados would feature and be based upon locally owned hotels and guest houses that fit snugly into our environment, and that radiate the unique hospitality, culture and charm of Barbados and Barbadians. That , to me, is what real development is all about– Barbadians doing for self and owning the most precious resources of their own country.

These views might differ from those of the Nation’s editorial-writer, but I can assure him or her that they are not based on a desire to “unfair” anyone, nor on “parochial or political motives”. Rather, they derive form a desire to provoke new thinking on what is in the best long term interest of the one nation that we all share in common.

Open Letter to the Prime Minister Re:Hyatt Hotel Project

The Barbados Lobby

August 31, 2016

The Honourable Freundel Stuart

Prime Minister of Barbados

Government Headquarters

Bay Street





Dear Sir,

I write to inform you that members of the Barbados Lobby are standing in solidarity with Mr. David Comissiong in protesting the building of the Hyatt Hotel on Carlisle Bay, Bay Street, St. Michael.

The group is of the opinion that while there may be economic benefits to be derived from the building of a hotel at that locale, it will be at the horrific cost of disrupting the highly valued recreational space that the beach has become for the Barbadian public. In a densely populated Bridgetown, Carlisle Bay is one of the few remaining open places except for Queens Park and the Garrison Savannah where hundreds of people each week can freely gather for socialization, rest, vigorous exercise and recreation. We are of the strong conviction that the area should be turned into a window to the sea.

It must have taken considerable time and effort for Bridgetown to achieve its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is therefore confusing why Mr. Mark Maloney of Vision Developments did not see it fit to follow the guidelines that already exist, given the historic designation of the area.

One wonders how an increase in traffic congestion due to the location of the hotel on this site will be handled. This alone may be a primary reason why the hotel should not be built on this site. A more suitable location for this hotel should be sought.

Our concerns for the environment are grave. We do not know what effect the building a hotel of that proposed size will have on the environment since no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been done. What we do know is that this beach is relatively new; leading some to speculate that it may not be wise to proceed without that assessment. We can also question what impact this will have on the coastline.

We are also concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding this project. Your manifesto promises to the people of Barbados regarding transparency are in danger of yet again not being honoured. We have been informed that to date, the people who live in the surrounding area where the proposed hotel is to be built have not been consulted.

We have been disappointed by the role played by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Tourism with regards to this matter. How could the Minister of Tourism participate in a signing ceremony for the building of this proposed hotel when no permission was given by the Town and Country Planning Department? To add insult to injury, we were lost for words when the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the Minister of Finance went into the people’s House of Parliament and lied to the entire population of Barbados that building permission had been granted. We can only expect that you will not take this lightly and that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken by you.

Each and every Barbadian is called to be “a strict guardian of our heritage” and a “craftsmen of our fate” on this little rock and must leave our island in the best possible position for future generations to have and enjoy. We must never be made to feel that we are trespassing in our own country.

We are therefore appealing to you to act in the best interest of Barbadians and deny building permission for the Hyatt Hotel at the proposed at Carlisle Bay location.



Heather Cole

On the behalf of the Members of the Barbados Lobby and;


Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, Citizen of Barbados

As the Nation Newspaper rightly stated in today’s Sunday Sun front page article entitled “Hyatt go-ahead up to PM“, for the past 30 years the Law in Barbados has stipulated that all applications for planning permission to construct buildings on the “beach front” are referred to the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning (the Prime Minister) for his consideration and decision. Indeed, the Law specifically states that such applications shall NOT be dealt with by the Chief Town Planner. (See section 18 of the Town and Country Planning Act and the Town and Country Planning Directions  that were made in 1986 under the said section 18 (statutory instrument 1986/103).

Surely, this is a legal stipulation that every Minister of Government must be aware of– particularly Ministers  who hold the directly relevant portfolios of Tourism, Finance, and Industry!

And just as surely, this has to be a legal stipulation that every investor who proposes to embark on a multi-million dollar hotel project on the “beach front” of Barbados must be aware of!

And so, we have to conclude that Mr Mark Maloney, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, and Minister of Industry Donville Inniss were ALWAYS fully aware that the ONLY entity who could grant planning permission to construct a 15 storey Hyatt Hotel at Carlisle Bay was and is the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr Freundel Stuart !

Now, if the Nation Newspaper is correct when it reports that the Town and Country Planning Office recently submitted a 29 page document to the Prime Minister for his vetting, and that the said document contains concerns about and objections to the proposed Hyatt Hotel from a number of organizations  (inclusive of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, the Barbados National Trust, the Barbados Museum, and the Barbados Building Standards Authority), as well as 56 detailed conditions that the Chief Town Planner would wish to have applied to the said proposed project,


And if this is the case— as it undoubtedly is — how was it possible for Minster Chris Sinckler and Minister Richard Sealy to join with Mr Mark Maloney at a so-called “signing ceremony” on the 26th of July 2016, and to support Mr Maloney as he brazenly informed the people of Barbados that he would be commencing construction of the said 15 storey Hyatt Hotel within a two month period of time!

Furthermore, how was it possible for Minister Donville Inniss to get up in the House of Assembly on the 18th of August 2016—  a full three weeks subsequent to the “signing ceremony” and after serious reservations had been raised in the public domain — and publicly assure the nation that all of the necessary studies and assessments had been carried out and that the application had been approved with conditions attached !

Haven’t Ministers Sinckler, Sealy and Inniss  been thoroughly delinquent in carrying out their duties as Ministers of Government? Haven’t they contributed to and participated in an exercise in which the country has been shamelessly and callously misled ? Haven’t they demonstrated that they are more loyal and beholden to Mr Mark Maloney than they are to their Prime Minister, their constituents, or indeed to the people of Barbados?

Henceforth, can the people of Barbados be expected to believe or trust anything that these Ministers say or do?  Can the people of Barbados be expected to repose any further confidence in these Ministers?

And haven’t we seen precisely  this type of behaviour over and over again from this current Governmental Administration ? Indeed, didn’t we see it with the Cahill fiasco?

Isn’t it time for some heads to roll ? Isn’t it time for some resignations or dismissals?

Minister Sealy, No 15-Storey Hyatt Hotel On Dah Beach

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Richard Sealy - Minister of Tourism

Richard Sealy – Minister of Tourism

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy is hitting back at critics of the decision to build the multi-million dollar Hyatt hotel on Bay Street, the city. “In his contribution earlier this evening to the debate on the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Sealy defended the international hotel chain, which he said would enhance the island’s tourism product while generating employment. “I know the Member for the City  (Jeffrey Bostic) doesn’t agree with that (opposition to the hotel); he is the biggest supporter of Hyatt and I am the second biggest supporter. I am all for jobs, I am all for tourism coming to the people of St. Michael – page 6 of Barbados TODAY dated 17 August, 2016

Dear Mr. Minister of Tourism, it is said that the last shall be the first, and the first shall be last. So, let me start with the last paragraph of your noise first.

I find it a puerile reason for wanting a hotel in St. Michael, just because there are hotels in the two parishes which you mentioned. It reminds me of a child who asks for something just because his parents have given his sister/brother something. Also, Mr. Minister, for your information, there are already three hotels in St. Michael, and all within walking distance of each other. They are: the Island Inn, the Radisson and the Hilton – which is a Government entity – and so you should at least know about that one. The Hilton is on Needham’s Point and I don’t think that that has moved. The Island Inn and Radisson are in Aquatic Gap.

Re your ” he (Jeffrey Bostic) is the biggest supporter of Hyatt, and I am the second biggest supporter” statement.

Mr. Bostic himself has declared that he is for Hyatt, but there’s a fundamental difference of your attitudes towards that project. You want it at all costs, whether it would be detrimental to the environment or the social fabric of this island, whereas Mr. Bostic is of the opinion that progress should not come at any and every cost. He stated that in his position on planting of that monstrosity on Browne’s Beach., he wants various things looked into first – including an environmental impact assessment, and a social impact assessment.

As far as I know, it is no longer good practice to build hotels on the beach, but on the land opposite the beach, which is being practised in the USA, and other tourism-oriented destinations. That is why I would like to know why Hyatt is coming here to plant a hotel on one of our favourite beaches, and one to which those tourists who return year after year go.

How do you start building if you have no planning permission?

How can such a 15-storey twin-tower colossus blend in with the Bethel Methodist Church, and the St. Paul’s Anglican and Catholic churches?

Would Hyatt be allowed to build a hotel on any beach in the USA now?

Why are we allowing a hotel conglomerate to build here, if all of the top personnel will be foreign?

That smacks of bigotry.

How can you allow that to happen, Mr. Minister?

Seeing that Barbados is a water-scarce island, and so many people are being already deprived of that commodity – although paying high water rates –  from where will all of the water come?

What about the waste?

Will it have it’s own water source, and waste disposal?

It is a sad state of affairs when any government can railroad such plans for the benefit of a foreign entity.

UNESCO is very strict when it comes to the stipulations which it gives to those countries which have World Heritage sites. I fear that if the stipulations for maintaining Bridgetown and its Garrison as a World Heritage site are breached then it will revoke the World Heritage site designation of the above, and we will be left without an important tourist attraction!

Also, Barbados is one of the most expensive tourism destinations, and it will now be more expensive since the tax collector has added a new levy to his taxes which in effect brings the VAT to 20% when, as he hiked it to seventeen and a half per cent, he promised to return it to 15% within a year.

However, promises mean nothing to this Government.


The beach belongs to the populace of this country – not to any government!

The Hyatt Hotel Project Requires Prime Minister Stuart’s Approval

Posted as a comment to the A Legal Challenge to the HYATT HOTEL is Looming by DAVID COMISSIONG

My further reading of the relevant statutory instruments has confirmed that the Chief Town Planner is OBLIGATED to refer an application for planning permission that relates to beachfront property on the coast of Barbados to the relevant Minister of Government— the Prime Minister— for his decision. Thus, even though Maloney”s / Visions Develop Inc’s application may have been addressed to the Chief Town Planner, it is Prime Minister Stuart who has to consider it and make the decision.

The Town and Country Planning Act also stipulates that in so doing, Stuart HAS to refer to the country’s Physical Development Plan and to any other material or relevant circumstance.

The problem is though that the Physical Development Plan was last amended in 2003, and this “new” 2003 Plan was ratified in or about 2008— even though the Town and Country Planning Act stipulates that the Chief Town Planner HAS to carry out a survey of the Island at least once every 5 years, and HAS to submit a Report and any recommendations or proposals for amendment or additions to the Physical Development Plan to the Minister (the Prime Minister). The current and operative Barbados Physical Development Plan is thus a 2003 Plan !

In 2011, some 8 years after the current Physical Development Plan was established, the City of Bridgetown was designated a UNESCO world heritage site!

How is Stuart going to carry out his statutory duty with an outdated Physical Development Plan that has not factored in the UNESCO designation?

I have drafted a letter about all this to Stuart and will be delivering it to him tomorrow.

What is “National Development”?

David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados
David Comissiong

David Comissiong

Does the erection of a 15 storey American-owned Hyatt Hotel in Carlisle Bay, abutting Barbadians’ beloved and world famous Browne’s Beach, constitute “development” for the nation and people of Barbados? That is a crucial question that we Barbadians need to grapple with and answer in this 50th anniversary year of our national Independence!

There are some Barbadians who believe that the best way to “develop” Barbados is to invite foreign companies to “invest” in Barbados by either buying up and taking over existing local enterprises, or by setting up their own new business enterprises in Barbados and extracting profits therefrom- profits that they are entitled to transfer to their home countries.

It would appear that the writer of the recent Nation Newspaper editorial entitled Comissiong off target on Hyatt is one such Barbadian. He or she argues in the Editorial that “foreign direct investors” are critical to economic growth in Barbados, and that foreign investors should always be welcomed since they “provide much-needed jobs” and “generate foreign exchange”. The Editorial-writer therefore welcomes the idea of the American multi-national company setting up their towering 15 storey hotel on or near Browne’s Beach.

I, on the other hand, have advanced a very different concept of Barbadian national development! In my recent article entitled Bajans Wake Up! You Are About To Lose Browne’s Beach!, I expressed this concept as follows:-

“We (Barbadians) have been operating hotels in Barbados for over 200 years now, and we know about the hotel and tourism industry. We don’t need any foreign tutelage! Let us therefore resolve that future hotel and tourism development will, as far as possible, be based on the construction of locally owned hotels, guest houses and related facilities that radiate the unique culture and hospitality of Barbados and Barbadians. Thus, if there is to be any further tourism related development along Browne’s Beach, let us ensure that it is owned by and evocative of Barbadians. And let Browne’s Beach always remain a place where Barbadians feel at home!”

And so, these are the two philosophically different concepts of “national development” that we Barbadians need to think about and discuss in this 50th anniversary year.

The “development by invitation to foreign investors” model is most associated with the Caribbean territory of Puerto Rico – a country which, despite its privileged access to the American market, is suffering worse unemployment and economic crisis than Barbados or any other English-speaking Caribbean nation! Too late have the Puerto Ricans learnt that the road to dependence on foreign investors is the road to even greater national dependence, lack of self-reliance, and poverty of spirit!

The alternative to the Puerto Rican model is a nation that strives to base its development on a population that is committed to thinking for itself, doing for self, and being its own unique self — a nation in which the people are encouraged (and facilitated by their Government) to get busy and produce for themselves, rather than to depend on some “foreign investor” to come from “over in away” to set up a potentially “alienating” enterprise to employ them.

No doubt, there are circumstances in which the establishment of foreign owned business enterprises in Barbados would be welcomed: namely, when the foreign enterprise would be introducing Barbadians to desirable new and advanced technology, skills and structures of production, and at the same time would not be doing any significant damage to our cultural heritage and identity.

Let us , for example, be prepared to seek out and welcome new “clean” high technology manufacturing enterprises to Barbados: but, so far as tourism is concerned, let us resolve to refine and perfect the beating of our own uniquely Barbadian home drums!

David Comissiong Exposes Nation Newspaper Editorial

Submitted by Anthony Davis
David Comissiong

David Comissiong

SOME THINGS SHOULD best be  left alone, but there are others that must never be overlooked.

This is particularly true when contemptuous comments are made in public that may stir emotions among people who follow opinion leaders without thinking. Such is the case with the remarks delivered by political activist and pan-Africanist David Comissiong, who spoke on Monday during Emancipation Day activities.

On this occasion he seems to have picked one for which we dare say, even before he starts, that he is unlikely to get much support. We hold no brief for those behind Vision Development Inc., the developers of the resort, but to denounce it as being bad for the country makes absolutely no sense.

This project did not get the all-clear without meeting a range of stringent stipulations, whether environmental or structural. It will provide much-needed jobs, generate foreign exchange and benefit the economy in other ways. Barbadians and Barbados will be better off as a result.

The argument advanced by Mr. Comissiong that the stretch of beautiful beach at Browne’s Beach will be lost to Barbadians once the hotel is built there does  not add up. If that argument is applied logically then the same thing should happen in all of Carlisle Bay up to Needham’s Point. But, despite some may want or how they feel, beaches in Barbados are all public. That is our patrimony.

Mr. Comissiong should base his objection on other grounds. He should also appreciate that at a time when the Government is in dire financial straits that private sector investment in any and all sectors must be welcomed. –  Comissiong off target on Hyatt in the Midweek Nation dated 03 August, 2016

Methinks that you are the one who is way off target!

We cannot only look at selling out our birth right for tourism for 30 pieces of silver as the panacea for getting this country back on its feet.

No planning permission has been given yet, so how can you make the bold statement that “this project did not get the all-clear without meeting a range of stringent stipulations, whether environmental or structural”?

Did you have a peek at the documents which were to be handed in to Town & Country Planning, or did you just guess that permission would be forthcoming?

What foreign exchange will it generate if the money will be flying out as fast as it comes in, as the owners are foreigners?

The worst part of it will be the condos, as these require minimal maintenance and once again the money will be flying out as fast as it comes in, because the owners will all be foreigners.

Also, Mr./Mrs. Editorial writer, it has been stated by the owners that not one of the managerial jobs will be given to indigenous personnel which, in my opinion, is a sign of bigotry, and they should not be allowed to get away with that!

It would be interesting to know what sweetheart deal was struck with Hyatt!

We have hotels here struggling, whereas Sandals is enjoying the sweetest of sweetheart deals up to now, and all they are getting are promises from the Minister of Tourism, and the tax collector that they will “soon” get the same deal.

How can such an eyesore blend in with the Bethel Methodist church, and the St. Paul’s Anglican and Catholic churches?

How about the building which Mrs. Ram occupies? Will it also blend in with that?

Will the BDF help camouflage it?

UNESCO makes certain stipulations when it accords countries world heritage site accreditation. Bridgetown and its Garrison were made World Heritage sites because of the old buildings from the times of slavery. I do not think that erecting such a monstrosity in the heart of Bridgetown would please them in the least.

Some years ago they rescinded Dresden’s World Heritage Site accreditation because the Government had the bright idea of building a new bridge across the river there, when it was given its accreditation for similar reasons to Barbados – in this case because of the age of the buildings in that city.

No hotels should be built on Browne’s Beach, as we all know what can happen when hotels set up on the relative beaches. The beaches are ours – not the DLP’s, BLP’s nor any other government’s. Browne’s Beach is also used by many repeat visitors, so you would be depriving one set of tourists of a beach, so that the rich, the famous, and the bigoted can have their own little space in paradise.

Shall we wait until Barbados becomes like Majorca with so many ugly skyscrapers dotting its coast that one cannot see the sea for long stretches, and where many have stopped going, because people cannot find a beach where they are not laid out like sardines in a tin?

I think not!

Letter Marked Urgent Dispatched to Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins From David Comissiong

Mark Cummins - Chief Town Planner Photo credit: Nation

Mark Cummins – Chief Town Planner Photo credit: Nation

DAVID A. COMISSIONG, LLB (U.W.I) L.E.C (Hugh Wooding Law School)


4th August 2016

Mr. Mark Cummins

Chief Town Planner

Town and Country Development Planning Office

The Garrison, St. Michael

Dear Sir

Re: The proposed construction of a 15 storey Hyatt Hotel at Carlisle Bay

I write to you in my capacity as a Citizen of Barbados.

As a result of news reports published in the Nation and Advocate newspapers of Wednesday 27th July 2016, I learnt that on Tuesday the 26th of July 2016 – Barbados’ “Day of National Significance” – Barbadian businessman Mark Maloney, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, and one Patrick Mc Cudden, senior Vice President of the American multi-national company known as Hyatts Hotel and Resorts, staged a so-called “signing ceremony” and informed the Barbadian people that in two months time Hyatts Hotel and Resorts and its local partner, Visions Development Inc. (Mr. Mark Maloney’s company), will be commencing the construction of a massive fifteen (15) storey hotel at Carlisle Bay, Lower Bay Street, within the precincts of the UNESCO designated world heritage site of historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, and abutting Barbadians’ beloved Browne’s Beach.

And subsequently, in the Wednesday 2rd August 2016 Editorial of the Nation Newspaper, I (and all other Barbadians) were informed by the Nation’s editorial writer that this project had received the “all-clear” from the relevant authority, and had met “a range of stringent stipulations, whether environmental or structural”.

As a result of the foregoing, I made my way to the Town and Country Development Planning Office on the afternoon of Wednesday 3rd August 2016 and asked to see the Public Register in which you are required (under Section 17 of the Town and Country Planning Act) to record information relating to applications for planning permission, “including information as to the manner in which such applications have been dealt with.”

As a result of perusing the Public Register I discovered that the relevant application for permission to erect the said hotel was filed by Visions Development Inc. on the 30th of March 2015, and that it bears application number 0445/03/2015B.

I also discovered that the section of the Public Register which deals with “Consultations” carried out in relation to the Application, and the section which records the “Decisions” made in respect of the said Application, were both BLANK !

So much then for the Nation Newspaper’s Editorial writer’s assertion that the project had met a range of stipulations and had received the “all-clear.”

(One is left to wonder why the Nation Newspaper has published such misleading information about this matter ! One is also left to wonder how Mark Maloney– in the presence of Ministers Sealy and Sinckler– could state that the construction of the hotel would DEFINITELY be starting in two months time! Clearly something is not right here ! )

Now, since it is clear that the “Consultation” process is not yet over, and that no decision has yet been made in relation to this application to erect a 15 storey Hyatt hotel at Carlisle Bay, I wish to draw the following to your attention :-

1) Some five (5) years ago I was approached by the prominent Barbadian business consultant who is behind this scheme of constructing “foreign brand-name hotels” in Carlisle Bay, and he informed me that Browne’s Beach is much too valuable an asset to be reserved for the Barbadian people, and that the plan is to construct five or six “foreign brand-name hotels” right across the length of Browne’s Beach.

2) Furthermore, during the 26th of July 2016 “signing ceremony”, Mr. Mark Maloney advised the Barbadian people that the massive 15 storey Hyatt hotel is just the beginning of a proliferation of new hotel development in Carlisle Bay!

3) Browne’s Beach is the central and extensive beach embedded in Carlisle Bay, and is an historic beach that is of tremendous value and service to the people of Barbados in general, and to the poor predominantly black working-class Barbadians who inhabit the many over-crowded, and in some cases slum-like, neighbouring communities of the City of Bridgetown and the greater St. Michael area. Indeed, for many impoverished and over-stressed working-class Barbadians Browne’s Beach is their place of refuge and relaxation, their natural spa and health clinic!

4) The construction of a massive 15 storey Hyatt hotel in Carlisle Bay (abutting Browne’s Beach) – to say nothing of the other 4 or 5 “foreign brand-name hotels” that are being planned for Browne’s Beach – is certain to destroy the very character of Browne’s Beach and to turn it into an “alien zone” in which the ordinary Barbadian no longer feels comfortable or welcome. In other words, we will run the risk of Browne’s Beach being transformed into one of your typical West Coast beaches – beaches that native Barbadians feel no longer belong to them.

5) There is also the issue of the height and size of the proposed Hyatt hotel. The highest building in Barbados is the Central Bank – a building that is some nine storeys tall. Is it really sensible to erect in Carlisle Bay, within the precincts of our UNESCO designated World Heritage site, an American hotel that will dwarf and dominate every other building in Bridgetown? Please bear in mind that this hotel will be more than one and a half times the height of the Central Bank of Barbados! Won’t it significantly undermine the World heritage status of historic Bridgetown and its Garrison?

6) And how do you engage in the type of deep and extensive pile-driving that will be required to construct a foundation for a towering 15 storey building without emitting vibrations that will do serious damage to such neighbouring historic buildings as the Bethel Methodist Church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Paul’s Anglican Church?

In light of the foregoing I am hereby requesting – nay, demanding – that this application for Town and Country Planning permission to construct this proposed 15 storey hotel be subjected to a most rigorous and comprehensive “Environmental Impact Assessment” procedure, inclusive of a “Social Impact Assessment” study.

I have learnt from the News Media that some consultations are on-going with the Barbados National Trust in relation to the implications of the proposed project for Bridgetown’s UNESCO world heritage site status.

However, what I am requesting goes way beyond such a narrowly based impact assessment!

I am requesting – first and foremost – that the people of the neighbouring communities be consulted in Town Hall meetings, and through relevant sociological surveys and assessments. And when I refer to “the neighbouring communities” I am referring to virtually all of the residential communities of the City of Bridgetown and southern St. Michael. I am also requesting that consultations be held with the churches and the various community groups and social clubs of the affected communities, as well as with the several environmental and heritage preservation organizations of Barbados.

I am also requesting serious and wide-ranging investigations of the possible dangers to other buildings in the vicinity of the proposed hotel, as well as  an investigation into possible negative impacts on the aesthetics and amenities of the entire city of Bridgetown. ( And while you are at it, perhaps you can draw to the attention of your governmental colleague, the Chief Immigration Officer, the negative implications of  the Hyatt Hotel’s vice- President’s bold assertion that ALL senior posts at the hotel will initially be filled by expatriates !)

And even through it may only be the opinion of one Citizen of Barbados, please permit me to state for the record that I am convinced that Barbados will be making a grave mistake if it permits such a priceless national asset as Browne’s beach to fall into the hands of foreign multi-national companies and to become the location of out-sized foreign-owned hotels, rather than to be reserved for indigenous Barbadian entrepreneurs and for locally owned hotels, guest houses and related facilities that fit snugly into the national environment, and that radiate the unique charm, culture and hospitality of Barbados and Barbadians!

It is with this conviction that I now hereby call upon you and the Town and Country Development Planning Office to engage in the Environmental Impact Assessment measures outlined and requested above in relation to the Town and Country Planning application reference number 0445/03/2015B.

I now look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.

Yours faithfully,

David A. Comissiong

P.S Please take note that in light of the dire implications that this matter has for the entire population of Barbados, I am taking the liberty of sharing the contents of this letter with my fellow citizens.

Dear David Comissiong, time mek a change

Submitted by Heather Cole
Submitted by Heather Cole

Submitted by Heather Cole

Dear Mr. Comissiong,

My mother had a saying, that “time mek a change.” I do not recall how old I was when I asked her what she meant by this. Her explanation was that something profound occurred from which there was no going back. It is that something that is always responsible for change. While I have been looking and waiting for a sign that change is about to come, I realized that one can be in the midst of change and never realize it until that something tilts the balance.

At every occurrence that has affected Barbados nationally, I wondered if it was the catalyst for which I was awaiting. In my watch, I believe that I may have almost missed that sign that was right beneath my nose until something that I read only yesterday resonated with me and caused me to stop and to think.

Yesterday I read an article about the Black Lives Matter Movement. My take away from that was that a movement, no matter how great it is will lose focus or disintegrate or become detached from the next generation unless there is political mobilization to activate change. Two cases that were mentioned were the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and Occupy Wall Street. They had both reaped some measure of successes but then never went on to the next stage which is to become cemented into a body or institution. We refer to the civil rights movements as a historical occurrence while the occupation of Wall Street seems to have become almost forgotten.

While some persons speak out about corruption, Barbados does not have a protest movement. No group of people has publicly stood up against corruption. The closest thing that we have had in terms of a movement since the 1930’s was the activity that occurred on that Facebook page “Bajans against $700M Waste to Energy Plant.” I do believe that the group reaped some measure of success in preventing the plant from being built in Barbados. Sadly the group’s management never aligned with my point of view that the next step was to form a political party. The once vibrant and active page has become a group without a focus. The fight against the Cahill plant should have been the preparation for a full onslaught against corrupt practices in Barbados.

Number one on my watch list was for a leader to emerge. A leader in every sense of the word; confident, fearless who is more than willing to stand up for what they believe in, someone who is not easily swayed and someone who holds his ground and is not afraid to stand up to the government.

As we stood by and watched, you took the government to Court regarding the unconstitutionality of being finger-printed multiple times as a security measure. When you won we all cheered from the sidelines. Then last Friday, you wrote an article in the midst of Kadooment. It was an article that reminded me of a soldier’s valiant efforts to hold the old fort down against opposing forces. The only thing that was not written in that article was a call to mobilize. Yet the people heard the unwritten call and responded with a testament of over 1000 shares on Facebook from Barbados Underground blog.

I have dared to think that you may be the leader of a new movement for change in Barbados and that with a re-branded People’s Empowerment Party can become a viable third party option in Barbados. Are your actions and the response of the public my sign that “time mek a change?”

12 Storey Hyatt Hotel to be Built on Bridgetown UNESCO World Heritage Site

Submitted by Anthony Davis

Mark Maloney (l) Mark Cummins (r)

It has taken three years to get to this stage but work on the much anticipated US $100 million Hyatt Centric Resort is finally set to get under way within the next two months – Barbados Today

In a letter to BARBADOS UNDERGROUND under the headline BAJANS WAKE UP! YOU ARE ABOUT TO LOSE BROWN’S BEACH David Comissiong wrote, among other things: “The foreign businessmen, Patrick McCudden, also informed the people of Barbados that all senior positions at the new hotel  WILL be filled by “EXPATRIATES”! (Apparently, we Barbadians are only qualified to hold low level jobs in this Hyatt hotel!)

Pray tell me, ministers Sealy and Sinckler, didn’t the PM say recently that the BLP has a number of spineless men in its party?

If what Mr. Comissiong says is true about only expatriates will have the top jobs at the Hyatt hotel, where are your spines when you allow some foreign bigot to stipulate such?

Are there no people in this country who qualify for such positions?

I, like Mr. Comissiong, am totally against the building of such a monstrosity on any part of Brown’s beach!

Brown’s beach is one of the last pristine beaches in this country where not only the indigenous go, but many of those repeat visitors who cannot afford the type of prices the clients of this hotel chain can.

If no planning permission has been given yet, does that not make the signing of that document null and void?

I cannot see how “the exterior will be blended with historic Garrison and Bridgetown”, because, as far as I know, there were no twelve storey eyesores during the time of slavery.

What makes it worse is that there will be 12-storey twin towers desecrating the landscape along Brown’s beach. This means that one will not be able to see the beauty of the beach when one drives, rides, or walks along Bay Street, meaning that those tourists who come here for the first time, and hire cars will not know what as beautiful beach hidden by that 12-storey, camouflaged hotel!

What about vehicles entering/exiting that property?

That will cause more obstruction/congestion on Bay Street – especially at peak times where the traffic is already very bad!

I surmise that the highest buildings during the slavery period would have been Sam Lord’s castle, and the churches, so wheel and come again!

I have the feeling that not one of you cares if Barbados loses its WHO World Heritage Site designation.

Dresden, a city in Germany, lost its its designation because the authorities had the bright idea of building a new bridge over the river there. I really think that you should keep the drawings for that monstrosity exactly where they are – awaiting approval. This hotel will be right opposite Bethel Methodist church, so tell me how will it blend in with the architecture of that church?

I’ve not heard so much gobbledygook in a long while!

Brown’s beach should be left as it is.

I’m also one who think that we will not be able to walk among the rich, the famous and the bigoted once that monstrosity is there!

I would also like to know what kind of sweetheart deal the owners have received, seeing that the indigenous hotels have not received the same deal that Sandals has up to now!

Government will not see one red cent in foreign exchange from the owners of the condominiums, as that money will leave the island as fast as it comes, and the owners will be foreigners.

How about the Building Code which states that buildings should not be above a certain height?

Has that been rescinded?

You are selling our heritage, our scions’ and their scions’ heritage for thirty pieces of silver!

I hope that you know what happened with Judas!

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. – William H. Borah

Do We Need Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Bridgetown?

Submitted by Anthony Davis
Hyatt Hotel hotel coming to Bridgetown?

Two twelve-storey Hyatt hotel towers coming to Bridgetown.

Not Browne’s Beach! Attorney-at-law David Comissiong made this plea to the Government on Saturday night while addressing a meeting staged by the University of Independence Square in the city. Responding to last week’s announcement by Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy that two twelve-storey Hyatt hotel towers would be constructed on the old site of the Harbour Police Station and Detco Motors on Lower Bay Street, Comissiong was adamant that the people of Barbados must own some precious beach front property for relaxation.” – Barbados Today (27 October 2014)

I totally agree with Mr. Comissiong, but I am looking at the situation from a different perspective. Pray tell me, Minister Sealy, is Bridgetown and its Environs no longer a UNESCO World Heritage Site? If so, have you read UNESCO’s stipulations for its World Heritage Sites?

I very much doubt it, because there is a clause which stipulates that no new buildings of any kind are allowed within a certain radius of the said Heritage Site. Seeing that the proposed site for the luxury hotel is in the heart of Bridgetown, do you think that it would be wise to construct a spanking new hotel smack in the middle of Bridgetown, or do you think that because you are part of the Government of Barbados that UNESCO would be scared to pull the plug on Bridgetown and its Environs as a World Heritage Site?

If so, you have another think coming!

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