Fred Smith, QC, expressed strong opposition to allegations that the Grand Bahama Port Authority plans to sanction development on Taino Beach.
While addressing a crowd of business licensees, including Sir Jack Hayward, Sarah St. George and Ian Rolle, Smith urged the GBPA representatives not to "give away" Taino Beach to developers.
Explaining the reason behind his opposition, Smith stated that the western area of the beach does not belong to the company and there is a serious need for recreational spaces on the island.
" We've already desecrated the swamps, the wetlands and the environment in Freeport, thereâ s not much left to say," Smith said.
" Port Authority, don't give away Taino Beach. The west side of Taino Beach does not belong to the Port Authority. It belongs to the people of Freeport."
It is claimed that the GBPA has plans to use a portion of land on Taino Beach to create a water park.
However, Smith claimed that development in the area has only ruined the beauty of the beach.
" I invite all of you to go back behind Taino Beach on the west side and youâ ll find remnants of what was there 15 years ago,â he said to the audience at the Pelican Bay Hotel yesterday.
" Half of it was taken away when you all put the Big Red Boat in about 15 years (ago). I will not let you take the rest of the western side of Taino Beach, so don't think you're going to put some marine mammal development program there."
Smith told the GBPA executives that if they truly mean well, they would make strides to clear the beach and restore it to its original beauty.
" Sir Jack Hayward and I, despite our differencesâ ¦ have a clear understanding about the garden city Freeport ought to be. I urge you Jack to look at Taino Beach and just take a real excursion. Donâ t give away Taino Beach to any developer. We need recreation spaces," Smith said.
An environmental activist and director of Save the Bays, Smith joked that his next environmental campaign would be â Take Taino Back."
" We want to take Taino back and we want you to lead the charge," Smith said to the Hayward.
His comments come amid an ongoing land dispute between the GBPA and local residents, who claim the company has wrongfully acquired their land in the Taino Beach area.
According to these residents, no formal documents have been signed to show that the GBPA is the rightful owner of the land, adjacent to the Stoned Crab restaurant, which belonged to their ancestors, but was passed on to them.
GBPA officials, since the beginning of the land dispute, maintain that they are the rightful owners of the land.
posted on: Monday, November 25, 2013 9:09 PM
"Do it for the tourists" ::mocking tone:: can we forget about the tourists for a minute here and focus on the people that REALLY MATTER... The people who actually live on GBI!!! A water park would be an excellent addition to the island of course, but will the cruise ships (that don't come in everyday") and the appalling drops from the airport be enough? Will Bahamians be encouraged to come to this water park? A market needs to be created on a solid foundation, or it'll go belly up like these other investments as of late!!! And supposedly some of that land to the west of Taino Beach belongs to some residents. They'd better get those matters settled first! But why Taino Beach? And if Taino Beach why not develop the whole beach into a "party/recreational spot". By that I mean a picnic area/night scene/party zone first!?!?!?! Like a mini Jersey shore! I'm sure Tony won't mind the competition.
k posted on: Thursday, October 03, 2013 3:33 AM
If the port owns the land they should be able to develop as they wish ( while under a very environmental friendly supervisory eye)...a water park would not only bring jobs to the island but also provide a chance for added increase in positive tourist experiences...which will lead to increased repeat visitors, thus more jobs and increased economic growth ...however if the port truly has no right to this parcel it should be proven beyond doubt as swiftly as possible. If the port has no rights, or until they prove it is their land, all property owners should understand and support the the quest to identify the rightful land owners in their quest to protect their families and their own property rights....if not only the port, but anyone without proof of ownership, can steal your neighbors land today...how safe is your families land tomorrow?
s posted on: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 5:10 PM
If they make jobs for the local people ,why not!but bear in mind,it always start of good but in a long run what will happen to the beach? Guess what rent first r least it for a 2years an c how it comes along
firstname.lastname@example.org - Peter Barratt posted on: Monday, September 30, 2013 5:36 PM
Bear in mind there is a small rectangle of land at the western end of Taino Beach that was the site of a former Anglican Church. Just make sure the owners of this private parcel are protected!
Willy posted on: Monday, September 30, 2013 12:21 PM
It was the greater good to close off Sunrise Highway in front of the Bazaar so that the hotel would remain open and 1500 jobs saved. But they still closed and left without paying the same 1500 people who they were concerned about when they wanted the road closed.
roses posted on: Sunday, September 29, 2013 2:47 PM
I believe Fred Smith lives in this area, He seems to oppose every thing. but the dredging of the Exuma Sea Park he and the National Trust were all right with that. Now Eric Carey is all over Bimini, Will a million dollars make a difference, I bet it will,
posted on: Saturday, September 28, 2013 9:11 PM
If this is a good investment, let it be OUTSIDE the GBPA area, where licensing wouldn't cost an arm and a leg! Same jobs would be created, but without the interference of the GBPA.
Albert Roker posted on: Saturday, September 28, 2013 6:47 PM
freeport need some development an this water park would be a great attraction for tourist .. and many jobs . I ont support fre smith he got millions , there are people out there who nee these projects so jobs can be created so they can put food on table.. For the greater good .. And if these people own land show there papers and sell it to the port for the greater good ...we got to say to are self now what is the greater good for the country is , what good does this project bring to the Bahamas , over 150 jobs .. Food to feed are children for the greater good.. of the country..