By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Environmental activists are seeking a Supreme Court Order that would compel Peter Nygard to produce documents showing all dredging/construction activities in the sea off his Lyford Cay home had been approved by the Government.
The Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay, now Save the Bays, in a December 18, 2013, summons, is calling on the Court to force the Canadian fashion designer to provide proof that his construction activities have all the necessary permits and approvals.
The Coalition’s move, according to documents seen by Tribune Business, has come in response to Mr Nygard’s November 25, 2013, affidavit in which he alleges he has all the permits required.
“All construction works at Simms Point/Nygard Cay have the approval of the various Bahamian government ministries or departments, and are all private acts and not public acts,” Mr Nygard alleged, although no permits to back up his assertion have as yet been filed with the Supreme Court.
The Coalition filed a Judicial Review action with the Supreme Court last year, and obtained a temporary injunction to prevent Mr Nygard continuing to dredge the sea bed and construct a groyne on the sea bed off his Nygard Cay home.
It alleged that Mr Nygard’s activities lacked the necessary government permits and approvals, and claimed this was an example of ‘unregulated development’ which, if allowed to stand, would set a very bad precedent for the Bahamas.
Mr Nygard, though, is seeking to be removed as a defendant in the Judicial Review action on the grounds that these actions review statutory decisions by government bodies or agencies - something he is not.
“I am a private individual acting under no authority of public law performing duties or functions, and therefore I am advised not amenable to Judicial Review,” Mr Nygard alleged.
“Because of the said injunction, I have suffered unnecessary damages, including legal expenses, to prove that I am not a public officer against whom Judicial Review should lie.”
Replying on the Coalition’s behalf. Martin Lundy, a Callenders & Co attorney, alleged that it filed a December 9 notice requiring Mr Nygard, within four days of service, to notify it of a time and place where - within seven days - it could inspect the approvals/permits he alleged had been issued.
No ‘time and place’ response had been received, and Mr Lundy said: “Consequently, the applicant seeks an Order by way of its present summons to compel [Mr Nygard] to produce the relevant approvals for inspection by the applicant.”
Mr Lundy alleged that the Coalition’s Judicial Review action was designed to challenge the Government’s decision to allegedly allow Mr Nygard to construct his groyne and dredge the sea bed without the proper permits.
He added that production of the necessary approvals was vital to ensure the Judicial Review action was dealt with “fairly”, and to ensure no unnecessary costs were incurred.