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Wilchcombe: Cabbage Beach Access To Stay

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe yesterday vowed that the main public access point to Cabbage Beach would remain open, despite closure notices being posted on the path’s entry gates.

According to Mr Wilchcombe, discussions between the government and the property’s owner, Access Industries, are underway to ensure that the easement, which is adjacent to the Riu Paradise Island Hotel, remains open.

Signs attached last week to the sliding metal entry gates to the path indicated that, as of October 8, people will no longer be permitted access to the beach over the privately-owned land, which is scheduled for development.

The West End Grand Bahama and Bimini MP said: “We are going to sit and talk with the proprietors, but at the same time they would know that spot would be open for Bahamians.”

However, despite claims by Mr Wilchcombe, Access Industries explained that while discussions are underway between themselves and the Bahamian government, current talks are focused on the development plans for the land and not the removal of the closure signs.

Christopher Beattie, spokesman for Access Industries, said: “As required by its sale agreement to Access Industries, Brookfield will relocate the current public beach access point, located on the vacant parcel of land adjacent to the Riu resort, to an existing access point owned by Brookfield located on Garden Drive, off Paradise Island Drive.”

In 2014, the ownership of Cabbage Beach was transferred from Atlantis (Brookfield) to a subsidiary of Access Industries, the One & Only Ocean Club.

That property is currently undergoing a $50m expansion. Work started in June and the resort is currently closed.

On Monday, a statement from Atlantis noted that access provided through the property during the time period it owned the land was granted on a “temporary basis.”

The statement read: “It should be noted that public notice with respect to terms and conditions of access have been posted for years, advising that access for commercial or recreational purposes over the privately owned property in question has always been on a temporary basis and as authorized by the owners.”

Mr Wilchcombe, however, insisted that the government would not sit back and allow Bahamians to be denied access to the popular beach.

“We our not going to back away from our position. The easement is open and will remain open to the Bahamian people,” he added.

The access has been in use for decades for the public and vendors on the beach. The metal fences enclosing the easement have only been added in the past couple of years.

Comments

TruePeople 6 years, 2 months ago

I remember PI before Atlantis, before the Golf Course... Used to be an old airstrip on the east side, and you did have to walk through some bush to get to cabbage beach. I remember watching the powerboat race from the rocks on the eastern coast of PI.

I miss that time, compared to what it has become now.

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TalRussell 6 years, 2 months ago

Who says the PLP cabinet are not paying attention, one take no hostages Tribune blogger. "Obediah yesterday vowed that the main public access point to Cabbage Beach "would remain open", despite closure notices being posted on the path’s entry gates."
I done switch join with Flowers, with me allegiance. Come the 2017 General - it goin be PM Obediah, all da way victory.
Why not, Flowers, for we DPM.

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asiseeit 6 years, 2 months ago

So that is how you go from being a criminal to a respected member of The Bahamas, buy a government? Easy as 123. What a teachable moment for our children, you can be a criminal but if you make enough money you can buy the government and people will want you to be DPM. That is how you teach children, morals and character. Only in the corrupt cesspool called The Bahamas!

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newcitizen 6 years, 2 months ago

Just wait and see what kind of concessions the government gives for this beach access, they can't just take the land. This beach access will cost millions by the time it's all done. Also, how many Bahamians besides the beach vendors and the taxi's actually use that access? I'd bet most use the east access, or never go to PI at all for having to pay $1 at the bridge.

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TalRussell 6 years, 2 months ago

Comrade the PLP and red regime governments gone grabbed and underpaid for private lands to make way for Baha Mar. You think they be returning them lands back their rightful owners? Lord Almighty, didn't former PM Papa Hubert's regime signs over the PM's offices to Baha Mar?
My only Baha Mar going forward strategy, is to calls for the immediate return PM's offices, back taxpayers. What say ye?
Did's you by chance gets a chance to boat by, that damn 'dock'?

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newcitizen 6 years, 2 months ago

But Tal, they took that land from Bahamians, and we all know that Bahamians get upset for a few minutes, suck their teeth, and then do nothing about it. In this case they will be trying to get the land from an international business who know how to negotiate and get what they want. Our government knows little to nothing about negotiating anything more than a kickback.

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TalRussell 6 years, 2 months ago

OK Comrade "Donald Trump" NewCitizen.

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 2 months ago

Tals it was the PLP that started Baha mar w/ Sarkis

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TalRussell 6 years, 2 months ago

I thinks you forgets who it was that flew China to bring them 8100 Chinese Nationals workers back to Nassau on fleet chartered aeroplanes.

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes Ingraham brought the Chinses etc ,but the original Baha mar HOA concerning land etc was btw the PLP and Sarkis

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Sickened 6 years, 2 months ago

Supporting criminals for Government? Good one Tal. You almost had me thinking that your a dumb ass!

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MonkeeDoo 6 years, 2 months ago

You trying to get into his bedroom business eh sheeprunner12

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sheeprunner12 6 years, 2 months ago

No ............. I really want to know how he will stop a hotel property from fencing off its space to complete renovations???????

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Sickened 6 years, 2 months ago

“As required by its sale agreement to Access Industries, Brookfield will relocate the current public beach access point, located on the vacant parcel of land adjacent to the Riu resort, to an existing access point owned by Brookfield located on Garden Drive, off Paradise Island Drive.”

RELOCATE means moving the access to a NEW location NOT to an existing location! What Access Industries is suggesting is simply closing one location. There are currently two access points and one will be closed under Access Industries dumb logic.

The government, and maybe Tal, might fall for this dumb logic but I hope most Bahamians don't.

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asiseeit 6 years, 2 months ago

If those people want to stop anyone from crossing their private property the government can do nothing about it. We have laws and regulations in this country. Oh, I forgot this is the Bahamas under the PLP, laws and regulations mean NOTHING!

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John 6 years, 2 months ago

I think Obie will stand by his word. In the main time check what is going on at the sandy port beach access on holidays.

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MonkeeDoo 6 years, 2 months ago

I think that the Government plans to put an escalator in at that eastern access point so we Bahamians don't have to hike our fat arses up and down that steep dune ! This is a very caring government, right Comrade Tal ?

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truetruebahamian 6 years, 2 months ago

Wilchcombe is just another stale plp arse trying to gain brownie points from sycophants who will never use that access or care about it other than supporting an idiotic statement made by an empty barrel government which tries to bully and fluff up its chest just to threaten anyone who might have an original idea or perhaps not proffer a large enough bribe under the table.

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MonkeeDoo 6 years, 2 months ago

Obie should allow access straight through Atlantis Hotel and locals should be provided with towels, beach chairs and umbrellas. Why not - dis we country ain't it ? Ya take Baha Mar ya may as well take Atlantis too.

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sheeprunner12 6 years, 2 months ago

LOL ...... you sound sooooooooo bitter ............ better days are coming!!!!!!!!

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