Antigua wants amicable solution to public access to beaches
ST. JOHN'S Antigua, CMC – Prime Minister Gaston Browne says while all beaches in Antigua and Barbuda are open and free to the public his administration is having to deal with the reality that landowners, particularly some hotels, are also seeking to ensure their own privacy and in the process, “are cutting off access to the beach”.
Bowne, speaking on his radio programme over the weekend, told listeners that the authorities are seeking to deal with the issue after some callers had indicated that they were unaware that there were private beaches in the country.
“All beaches are public. But before you get to the beach….people own land…so what is happening is that in order to access the beach you have to walk through their private land and they are seeking to literally ensure their own privacy and in the process cutting off access to the beach,” Browne said.
“In some instances, I believe you have to travel too far to get access. So we will have to now look at where we can create more convenient access for the people,” Browne told radio listener, saying while he accepted their comments that there should be free access to the beaches, security reasons were also being used to deny public access to the beaches in the area by certain hotels.
Browne made special mention of the ongoing situation involving The Mill Reef Club, which is a 1,500-acre members-only club that includes five miles of shoreline and three islands on the east coast of Antigua.
“I don’t think any serious consideration was given to people having access to the beaches there,” he said.