St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company to file appeal against building permit of Dock Maarten

On December 5, 2014, the Court in First Instance rendered its judgment in the injunction case filed by St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company against Dock Maarten.

St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company requested the Court to order Dock Maarten NV to cease its construction activities in the concession area of Great Bay and to remove the stone jetty constructed there in the past few weeks.

The Court in First Instance ruled that it could not grant the order because a building permit was issued to Dock Maarten NV on July 21, 2014 to construct the stone jetty. Since St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company has not yet filed an objection against the building permit, the building permit is assumed to have formal legal effect.

St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company was not previously informed of the building permit issued to Dock Maarten NV and was only informed thereof in connection with the court case.

Attorney of St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company, Chris van Amersfoort of HBN Law, stated on Friday: “In Sint Maarten no rules exist that building permits need to be published, and in this case the building permit for Dock Maarten was not made known to the general public, let alone to St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company.”

According to the attorney, St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company can therefore still file an appeal against the building permit.

“After having received the judgment, an appeal has been immediately filed against the building permit with the court.  In light thereof, also the ruling of the court in the injunction case seems premature, and an appeal against that ruling is also considered,” Chris van Amersfoort said on Friday.

Mr. Van Amersfoort added: “St. Maarten Harbour Holding Company obtained its concession rights in 2007, which gives it the exclusive right to operate and manage all harbour activities in Great Bay.

“My client does not oppose to private developments in the concession area, as long as it is aware of those developments and can perform mandatory checks to determine whether the plans are in accordance with local regulations, international requirements and the development of Port St. Maarten in general.

“For reasons unknown to my client, Dock Maarten NV refuses to give any insight into its plans, which forces my client to continue defending its concession rights in court”, Chris van Amersfoort concluded.