The High Court will determine this Friday, May 19, whether to grant an injunction to Barbudan businesswoman Kelcina Burton-George, the proprietor of Barbuda Cottages.
Last week, Burton-George filed the application against the Barbuda Council to prevent it from trespassing on lands she has leased.
A recently circulated video captured a backhoe operator –approved by the Council – removing a barrier, trees and other items that reportedly were blocking Barbudans’ access to the beach that fronts the Cottages.
Reportedly, the owners had erected barriers to protect the property; but these allegedly were removed by the same backhoe driver during the annual beach party of Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) on May 6.
Councilman John Mussington confirms that the matter will be heard on Friday and the parties will know whether the injunction will be granted. However, without elaboration, he says the information that has been released by the family is factually inaccurate.
Mussington says the Coral Group Beach has been used by Barbudans and visitors alike from time immemorial. There is a coastal road that provides access to the beach, and this has never been abandoned, he says, but is in active use.
Being such a popular picnic area, one would expect that persons who are differently abled would be allowed the required ease of access, Mussington says. Instead, he claims they have to walk quite a distance to access an area where generations of Barbudans have been enjoying themselves on the beach.
Now, the councilman says, the developers have been laying claim to the beach and are saying they have leased the seafront.
Further, Mussington says the investor is making certain assertions that the Barbuda Council will have to dispel before the court.
Media reports say that Burton-George is claiming that the Council’s Letter of Notice – informing her of its intentions to remove the barriers – was submitted to her only after the removal had been completed.
The businesswoman reportedly was granted a lease in 2013 from the Council; but, in 2021, the lease allegedly was re-issued by Central Government.