Lyford Cay ‘likely’ to support coalition
Guardian Business Editor
The Lyford Cay Property Association is "likely" to become a member of the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay (CPCB).
As exclusively revealed by Guardian Business in February, the association announced that the government appears "inclined" to grant Peter Nygard a lease of accreted land surrounding his property at Nygard Cay. It now seems that members of the community have taken their opposition to the next level.
"I think it is likely we will become a member. The environmental issues effect Clifton and our community," said Philip Dunkley, head of Lyford Cay Property Association.
"We have looked at everything they have put together. It seems like something we should support."
Support for the coalition is also forming in other property circles.
Franon Wilson, president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA), said he did not wish to comment specifically on Nygard's case.
However, speaking in general terms, anyone that expands property beyond what was legitimately paid for should be kept in check by both the private and public sector.
"The bottom line is people should go out and inspect. If you go past a certain point and expand beyond your bounders, then that has implications," Wilson told Guardian Business. "There are things you can and can't do. And that is one of the things you can't do."
Back in February, a letter to members of the Lyford Cay Property Association stated that the government “may be inclined to accede to Mr Nygard's application” in the near future.
It went on to note that government indicated it would become more vigilant to prevent any future reclamation of lands.
The issue has been in and out of the courts in recent years.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court on April 6, 2011, Tex Turnquest, then director of the Department of Lands and Surveys, informed Nygard that the government expected him to reinstate the coastline of the property to its condition at the time of the 1984 deed, when he first purchased the western tip of Lyford Cay.
Nygard's attorneys have argued, however, that additional land formed as a result of the gradual and imperceptible deposit of materials from the ocean onto land.
The fashion mogul sought a declaration that the lands have become part of the freehold property.
Recent statements by the Lyford Cay Property Association could indicate that the issue is swinging in Nygard's favor.
The coalition, however, appears ready for a fight.
"You can be sure the coalition will be active," Dunkley added.
Fred Smith, a top attorney with Callenders & Co, has joined forces with the coalition for legal support. The alliance could indicate that the coalition is prepared to fight any ruling on the property.
Dunkley pointed out that the Nygard issue is not the only problem for Clifton Bay. The Bahamas Electricity Corporation has long been criticized for poor environmental standards at one of its main power plants in the area.
From the air, a sheen of oil can reportedly be seen on most days along the coast and heading out to sea.
In a recent trip to The Bahamas, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. threw his support behind the coalition as it relates to the pollution coming out of Clifton Pier and its destruction to the reef system.
March 29, 2013