By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
A Supreme Court judge yesterday refused to extend an interim injunction filed against Atlantis (Brookfield Asset Management) by the Cabbage Beach Business Owner’s Association (CBBOA), citing lapses in the plaintiff’s application.
Justice Bernard Turner, as a part of his delayed decision in the matter, granted leave to legal consul for the CBBOA to adjust legal applications submitted to the court to reflect the changes in ownership of the property in question.
Justice Turner said petitions made to the court on behalf of the CBBOA for a 60-day extension to its interim injunction granted December 29 didn’t precisely define the dynamics of the dispute between the association and the Atlantis resort.
As a result, he delayed his official ruling in the matter until January 19 at 2.30pm.
The interim injunction, which expired at 2.30pm on Wednesday prohibited Atlantis from restricting access to Cabbage Beach over a plot of land it sold to Access Industries in 2014.
Obie Ferguson, attorney for the CBBOA, argued that his clients couldn’t apply for an injunction against the property’s rightful owner because the group was operating under the impression that Atlantis (Brookfield) still owned the property.
According to Mr Ferguson, all negotiations carried out in recent months with respect to the property adjacent to the Riu Paradise Island Hotel had always been done with Atlantis (Brookfield); insisting that at no point did the resort inform his clients that a sale had been completed.
“Apparently they filed an affidavit on us yesterday, indicating that the property is no longer owned by them even though all indications have been that Atlantis is the owner,” said Mr Ferguson.
Access Industries, the current owner and operator of the One&Only Ocean Club, purchased the parcel of land from Atlantis (Brookfield) in June 2014 for an undisclosed sum of money.
Last September, Access Industries announced plans for a $50m expansion to their operation at the One&Only Ocean Club.
As a result of that decision, notices of the intended closure of the access were posted on sliding metal entry gates to the path.
Legal consul for Atlantis, attorney Ferron Bethel, argued on Wednesday that as a part of an agreement the resort had with vendors specified that the resort held the right to restrict access by the vendors to the property.
Mr Bethel said Atlantis (Brookfield) has held the right to permit access to its property; a property he said exists as a “private entity away from Cabbage Beach.”
“I can’t get a license to sell lemonade on your lawn. I can get a business license to sell lemonade along your street, but if I attempt to set up shop on your lawn you have every right to ask me to leave,” the attorney said.
The Tribune understands that Access Industries is prepared to negotiate a “means of operation” with members of the CBBOA moving forward.
To that end, Access Industries has already granted a 60-day “break-period” to vendors, allowing them access to the beach via the easement in question while negotiations between the two sides are continuing.
Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe will apparently serve as the lead mediator in those negotiations.