Choiseul residents concerned about relocation of public road for Fairmont Hotel project

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Choiseul residents concerned about relocation of public road for Fairmont Hotel project

“If the people are going to lose their road, there will be no hotel.”

These words from Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) Chair Pinkley Francis sought to reassure residents of Morne Sion, Choiseul, and surrounding areas during a meeting held on Sunday, August 27.

The Sustainable and Well-Planned Development Action Group (SWDAG) held their second town-hall yesterday to “find information so that we can eventually make a decision whether we are for or against the [Fairmont Hotel] project” according to the group’s representative Kensley Charlemagne.

The ISL chair, area Member of Parliament Bradly Felix (UWP Choiseul/Saltibus), and a representative from the Citizens by Investment Unit (CIU) were all invited to meet with residents, but only the first two individuals turned up.

The CIU declined the invitation to attend, because “they did not want to be bombarded with questions they did not have answers for”, according to Charlemagne.

At least 70 people attended the meeting, spilling out of the small room into the parking lot and along the roadside.

Tense and boisterous at times, the audience peppered the head table with questions and concerns centered on the possible relocation of a public road that passed through the development property.

Despite repeated reassurances from both Minister Felix and Francis that no final decision had yet been taken regarding the fate of this road, people continued to express apprehension about the negative impact such a move could have on pedestrians, fisherfolk, and other community members.

Additional concerns were raised about language in the Fairmont Hotel’s press releases advertising “a 1870ft private beach.”

The intense negative public reaction that this discrepancy/inaccuracy in the hotel’s marketing collateral engendered caused Choiseul native Felix to issue a sternly-worded statement of reassurance.

“I’ll give you my word…if Fairmont Hotel tries to prevent any Choiseulian or any Saint Lucian from having access to that beach, mark my words, I’ll be the first to come out and protest. This is the beach that I bathe on, that I have all my recreation on.”

Both Felix and Francis insisted that they did not have any knowledge of Fairmont’s private beach claim, although the hotel’s press release has been widely circulated on travel and trade websites since July of this year.

The three-hour meeting concluded with a request from the SWDAG that Felix and Francis assist them by inviting a representative of the GP Group (the project’s developers) to the next townhall meeting, which is yet to be announced.

 

CLICK HERE to view the original press release announcing the Fairmont Hotel development

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17 COMMENTS

  1. This is not funny but I really can't help laughing. Seems we turn just about everything into party colors. Who cares what happened during the last administration? They were voted out! So we're asking the government of the day the pertinent questions.

    And to be concerned that locals may not be given access to the beach is a very valid point. It's not like it's never been done before in St.Lucia. It continues to happen today.

    To think that St.lucia is not for sale is also an extremely valid fear. When the government of the day has not been transparent, when policies that are enacted aren't in the best interest of the citizens, why should't we conclude that our very existence is under threat?

    If a deal was struck then government and investor should be reading from the same document. However, when the investor says the road will be moved and beach will be private, it's clear they know something we don't. These empty promises by our own government are simply pathetic!

    One more point, we're educated folk here. We're experienced folk here. We've been through some BS with every single party in this country. And lastly, we know when someone is pissing in our eye and calling it rain.

    Stop it! You bunch were elected because we were unhappy with the last group. So far, you've been disastrous. Choiseul is not for sale. Investment is welcomed, but the needs of the people are as equally important.

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  2. This Anonymous is an a** he/she seem to appose every and anything rational - what a disgrace. Go choke your self somewhere!

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  3. People should welcome change, it's inevitable. That private beach thing sounds like BS. It ain't right

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  4. MANDE the WSDAG has been meeting, questioning, researching both of the SLP/UWP Administration's statements, documents, press releases, news media AND talking & writing publically since March 2016. Well before last elections... How you miss that?

    LUCIABOY foreign-owned hotels are Choiseulian's ONLY source of "jobs"?

    AUDI DRIVING SOCIALIST actually... we are thankful LT is no longer MP.

    ALL of you are invited to ask your questions at WSDAGs next meeting!

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  5. Funny how there was no concerns when the project was first introduced just before the last elections.
    Bunch of "blind party supporters"!

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    • There have been changes to the initial plan. One of whi ch has implications for the existing road. They are not blind party supporters. They are dealing with serious issues. Don't take my word for it, get the proposed changes yourself and you decide. Not everyone operate along party lines. Some of us have genuine issues.

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  6. New Testament Verse of the Day:
    God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

    – Revelation 1: 3

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  7. This is the only beach that the residents of Choiseul have to recreate and this minister stating that he will be the first to protest if the project affects the road is ludicrous, protesting solves nothing. In Barbados, every beach on the island is accessible to the public, everyone, so the St. Lucian government does not have our interest at heart.

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  8. Glad to see Choiseulians standing up for their rights. It's evident that the government and i believe both parties were trying to force and hide this development under the table without consulting with the thousands of residents who are to be severely inconvinenced for the rest of their lives by this development.

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  9. Must be some labour supporters who are mad that Lorne Theophilus doesnt get to do nothing for an entire constituency for an entire election election cycle.

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    • Haha Your argument is invalid, you just had to bring up politics. Facts are, almost 95% of Choiseulians are for the development and their only concerns are the closure of the public road running across the development site which the thousands of residents who live on the western part of the development traverse and the rerouting of traffic several miles away. So you're saying that because the residents are demanding that the government take into consideration their concerns (a new replacement road)and stand up, that their rights are not trampled on, they're Labour supporters? Think again!

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    • exactly, a bunch of slp bitching about something that is still be looked at. it is funny that they are fighting for a pot holed car killing road so they can stop people from getting jobs and bringing progress to the neighborhood. maybe a new road will benefit them more but the slp has them already complaining. regardless, this group will not stop the hotel from being built.

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      • Who said they were against the hotel ? F outta here. Choiseualians are so damn divided man. These guys are out here fighting and trying to convince the government and the developers to take the people's concerns into consideration but you have others who seem to have hotel money fever fighting them down. Wow, we as a people will never move forward if we keep on bending over backwards to our leaders and being slaves to whatever nonsense thwy say. Keep on fighting and convincing the government to build you people a road and ignore the uneducated hacks who bring politics into everything.

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        • Well said. I hope they demand more from the Fairmount Hotel and not be railroaded by the politicians and stake holders after all its their community. The people who don't live there don't care IT"S NOT THERE QUALITY OF LIFE BEEN AFFECTED. If they want the road so bad to disrupt the lives of the people who have lived there for generations, then they will have to give back to the community big time for taking it. Make your demands people and not just for a road too many hotels comes to St Lucia and don't give back nothing to the community in which they reside, one don't have to travel too far from Choiseual to witness that. The politicians that comes there to shove the current plans down your throats their pockets are already lined they are only southerners when it's politics time so make sure you get yours.

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