By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
OFFICIALS from the Coalition to Save Clifton said they would not relent in their push for Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard to be reprimanded for the alleged “abuse of the national patrimony”, even if he and hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon are able to end their legal and personal disputes.
The organisation noted in a statement on Thursday that its fight to “save Clifton” predated the disputes between the two neighbours.
The group insisted that from 1999 it has led calls for the historic site to be converted into a land and sea park, achieving the land park classification in 2004.
According to the group, Mr Nygard’s belief that the Clifton matter existed only as a fight between him and Mr Bacon is demeaning to the wider Bahamian public.
“Over the years, the Coalition to Save Clifton was viewed as the guardians of the people’s interest at Clifton and that interest will be vigorously defended,” the statement said.
“The Coalition to Save Clifton wishes to place its position on public record that no agreement amongst any groups or individuals will be supported by the coalition if it contains any threat to the viability of the Clifton land and sea park, as the coastal development at Nygard Cay clearly does.”
Mr Nygard offered a truce to Mr Bacon and to all others who have opposed him in the past in an open letter published in The Nassau Guardian on Monday.
The fashion mogul suggested that all parties involved set aside egos and use the money being wasted on court action to fund the less fortunate and cleaning up oil damage at Clifton.
However, officials from the Coalition To Save Clifton said they remain sceptical of Mr Nygard’s true intent. The group also said it was affronted by the suggestion that money could compensate for “the outright wanton disregard for the laws of the Bahamas, the degradation of the environment, and the abuse of the national patrimony of the people.”
“Mr Nygard could eliminate the opposition of the Coalition to Save Clifton to his present plans for the development of Nygard Cay very easily, by simply obeying the 2010 directive of the Bahamas government to cease the unauthorised work and to restore the coastal area to its previous state before the accretion took place.”
On Tuesday, representatives from Save The Bays, an environmental advocacy group, said it would consider ending its legal dispute with Mr Nygard if he agreed to obey the law and reverse the alleged substantial environmental damage caused by decades of unauthorised development at his Clifton Bay property.
Mr Nygard purchased 3.25 acres of land directly adjacent to Clifton in 1984.