Pe­ti­tion to Save Trouya Beach Sub­mit­ted

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Toni Ni­cholas

When Comp­ton had dared to tam­per with “sa­cred” ground be­tween the Pi­tons to al­low for the de­vel­op­ment of the Jalousie project, from out of nowhere sprung Saint Lu­cia’s first en­vi­ron­men­tal group. Per­haps in­spired by Wal­cott’s angst in po­etry about the de­vel­op­ment, the Saint Lu­cia En­vi­ron­ment Ac­tion Coun­cil SLEDAC in­cluded painter Llyewellyn Xavier, Len Ish­mael then a lec­turer at UWI, and as­pir­ing politi­cian Kenny An­thony. “May the next gen­er­a­tion curse a gov­ern­ment so blind, it handed over a na­tion sealed, de­liv­ered and signed,” Wal­cott wrote in Litany to the Pi­tons first pub­lished in the STAR.

Will those who now lead the coun­try heed the words of Wal­cott and avoid the full wrath of the next gen­er­a­tion, by not sell­ing out the coun­try’s pat­ri­mony and the few re­main­ing beaches to for­eign de­vel­op­ers? The res­i­dents of Trouya are hop­ing so and are call­ing for wis­dom to pre­vail as they seek the in­ter­ven­tion of Gov­ern­ment to save one of the few re­main­ing pub­lic beaches on the is­land. Of ma­jor con­cern to res­i­dents of Trouya Point is the neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact this will have on the small beach in the area, one uti­lized by many lo­cals from near and far.

The res­i­dents fear that a re­cent pro­posed de­vel­op­ment will bar lo­cals from proper ac­cess to the beach. The pro­posal by a French de­vel­oper is for a touris­tic de­vel­op­ment to be built on two sets of lots - one part is just a queen’s chain lot which will house an ac­tual ho­tel and a villa, with the other unit du­plexes of 2 and 3 bed­rooms spread around the bay. Ef­fec­tively a sixty-six room es­tab­lish­ment will be put on the tiny bay that is less than a hun­dred yards, res­i­dents say.

Given less than three weeks to re­spond to the DCA’s no­tice for a change of use of Trouya Point from res­i­den­tial to com­mer­cial, Lin­coln Weekes and other con­cerned res­i­dents im­me­di­ately raised ob­jec­tion to the de­vel­op­ment. With a De­cem­ber 12 dead­line to re­spond, they have re­ceived the support of 85 per­cent of res­i­dents who have signed a pe­ti­tion voic­ing their dis­ap­proval. Through a Face­book page they have also com­manded the na­tion’s at­ten­tion to save the Trouya beach and have re­ceived wide­spread support.

On Wed­nes­day De­cem­ber 10, the com­mu­nity mem­bers called a press con­fer­ence ahead of sub­mit­ting their pe­ti­tions and find­ings on the project to gov­ern­ment. “As we pre­pare to cel­e­brate Na­tional Day and what is ours, we thought it was im­per­i­tive for us to speak to the na­tion about this is­sue which in­deed is a na­tional one,” Weekes, the spokesper­son for the con­cerned res­i­dents said Wed­nes­day. He gave the press an over­view of the project and how it will im­pact the res­i­dents and the area in gen­eral. Weekes is also ques­tion­ing the de­mark­ing of the some of the ar­eas on the queens chain in pur­suit of the de­vel­op­ment. “To­day it’s the Trouya beach; to­mor­row some­where else,” he added. Ac­cord­ing to res­i­dents, fol­low­ing the sub­mis­sion of the pe­ti­tion to gov­ern­ment and the rel­e­vant agen­cies they will con­tinue their ad­vo­cacy of, and rally support for, the Trouya beach and ad­join­ing queen’s chain to re­main for pub­lic use. The group has also found support from a num­ber of school­teach­ers and prin­ci­pals who have used the beach for recre­ation and school projects. A num­ber of Gros Islet fish­er­men who some­times land sar­dines on the Trouya beach are also in support.

On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon the Trouya res­i­dents sub­mit­ted their pe­ti­tion along with a cover let­ter rais­ing their ob­jec­tion to the pro­posed ho­tel de­vel­op­ment en­ti­tled Trouya Cove.

“So now we await the gov­ern­ment’s decision as to whether we keep the beach for pub­lic use or we sell out to pri­vate gain,” Weekes said. “But we will stop at noth­ing within our le­gal op­tions to see to it that the Trouya beach re­mains for free use by Saint Lu­cians,” he em­pha­sized.

Will Trouya beach be saved?

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