Stop Order issued on fence barring beach access

The government’s Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst (File Photo)

The Development Control Authority (DCA) has compelled the property owners who fenced off a public access to the beach to remove the blockade.

The firm has 28 days to act or face destruction of its fencing material.

The Cabinet said it continues to pay attention to beach access for users of the country’s public beaches and a Stop Order was issued for a landowner near Buccaneer Cove to remove the fence erected across the pathway which leads to the beach.

“The beach has always been accessible from several points and what has happened since they put the fence up it is no longer accessible from one of the points that is usually utilised. These are called easements and easement continue to be under law, a method by way where folks can get to other properties,” Lionel Hurst, government spokesperson said.

He urged that other landowners fronting on beaches will also be compelled by stronger legislation to make the traditional easements across property on the landward side continuously available to beachgoers.

“So for example, some people live in alleys and alley ways that may in fact be private properties, but, it has been utilised from time immemorial. The law does not allow property owners to fence it off because it’s called easement,” he added.

The issue of beach access through private property has been a concern from many in society who lament that some property owners are breaking the law without any repercussions when they deliberately bar beach access when they fence their properties.

In 2016, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the government may hold talks with Mill Reef Club over landward access to several beaches bounded by its massive property.

The Spear-Fishermen’s Association threatened legal action to demand landward access which the club currently denies the public.

Then, Browne said that a balance needed to be found between security and access.

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