Minister Lake says he will regulate public access to all beaches in zoning plans

Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says that every so often the access to public beaches becomes an issue, and he plans to have his ministry start making preparations to have this regulated in the national zoning plans of the country.

“Direct and specific access to all beaches has to be taken up in our Zoning Plans.  When looking at the most recent situation in Belair where the gate was locked preventing access to the beach, I met with the owner representative on Monday and the public has access to the beach once again.

“In a Zoning Plan, Government can stipulate where direct and specific access should be to the public beach. This will avoid all types of situations like with Belair beach, Mullet Bay, Guana Bay, and Indigo Bay.

“I would also like to set the record straight with respect to the Belair Pond.  The Belair Pond is protected in the zoning plans. There are those out there in social media who are spreading lies and trying to create confusion because they have their own hidden agenda which is not in the interests of the people of Sint Maarten.

“Social media blogs need to be very careful with what they write.  The land owners next to the Belair Pond were not given any permission to build in the Belair Pond. These types of remarks live a life of their own in the outside world, and persons should be held accountable for writing things which are not true.

“Anybody can go to Ministry VROMI and verify the aforementioned.  I urge the readers of social blogs to be aware of those with hidden agendas and who like to spread lies and want to create confusion.

“As Minister of VROMI, I try my best to do everything according to the law in an open and transparent manner. Ministry VROMI follows the rules and regulations where it concerns draft zoning plans for the country.

“As Minister of VROMI for the last 18 months in office, I have championed this area very much where all beaches should be accessible. I recently met with the owner representative of Mullet Bay as well as with some of the vendors at Mullet Bay beach to come to a win win situation.  This matter is being resolved in an amicable manner.

“Sand placed in certain areas will be removed.  Mullet Bay has to live up to the beach policy by providing parking for the public and have more than three meters that is stipulated by the beach policy for access.

“As Minister of VROMI, I want the best for this Country and its people.  We have some organizations and people who just like to create confusion and criticize and they don’t have their facts straight. As I always say a statue was never built in honour of a critic.  We need to come with solutions and work in the best interest of Sint Maarten.

“I commend the Nature Foundation which has always operated in a very professional manner with Government to find solutions while still being critical of situations that they find,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake concluded.