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The United Workers Party is alarmed at reports that access to the Gros Piton trail andAnse L’Ivorgne beach is blocked by a developer and is calling on the Philip J PierreAdministration to make the protection of Saint Lucia’s World Heritage Site a priority.
The lack of attention and lackluster response by the Government to this significantissue blatantly exposes the continued hypocrisy of the St Lucia Labour Party; sayingone thing while in opposition and something else when in office.
Saint Lucians have a right to access our nation’s national treasures and the Gros Pitontrail should never have been obstructed in any way, preventing many who make aliving on this trail from earning their daily bread.
Saint Lucians and visitors have been using this trail for decades and it is a source of revenue for tour guides, water taxi operators, land and sea excursionists and vendors.
Their livelihoods have been put at risk while the Government turns a blind eye.
The fact that this was allowed to happen is an indictment on the current MP for Soufriere, the current administration and the Soufriere Development Foundation.
Although the Department of Planning has stated there’s registered vehicular access to the beach and queen’s chain the access, the UWP is informed, this is still blocked by the developer.
It must be stated that while in Government, the United Workers Party paid carefulattention to the Pitons Management Area (PMA) and then Minister for PhysicalPlanning, and Soufriere/ Fond St Jacques MP, Honourable Herod Stanislas addressedin great detail the development in the area of Anse L’Ivrogne, explaining the historyof Anse L’Ivrogne development and the steps taken by the then Government toensure the development did not prevent local access or put the World HeritageStatus at risk.
The Minister at the time outlined the guidelines for the PMA contained in thenPMAand the Soufriere Region Integrated Development Plan, otherwise known as theHyder report, 2008, and The Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) Study of 2013.
The area in question was sold by Mondesir Estates to a business senior executive fromCanada in January of 2015 under the tenure of Dr Kenny Anthony, who also grantedthe proposed buyer the status of an “Approved Developer.”
The deed of sale for the property is dated 19th January 2016 also during the tenure of the Dr. Anthony administration.
In managing this situation, while in Office the UWP administration, worked with thedeveloper to ensure the proposed development site falls within policy area 1 of thePitons Management Area and according to the Design Guide of the Limits of Acceptable Change Study of 2013.
To that end the UWP administration rejected the initial plans of the developer due to the fact that it was not in keeping with the rules which govern the area.
The UWP only approved plans that kept to the guidelines and aesthetics of the area and monitored this development every step of the way.
Considering recent developments, it would seem that the SLP Government, MPEmma Hippolyte, the Minister for Planning, the Soufriere Development Foundation,the National Trust and so-called watch groups that were very active under the UWPadministration have dropped the ball and failed the people of Soufriere and SaintLucia.
The United Workers Party will challenge any moves to prevent locals from accessingour beaches, nature trails and protect our status as a World Heritage Site.
SOURCE: United Workers Party