Saturday, May 25, 2013

Save the Bays... formerly Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay has filed an action in the Supreme Court... seeking a judicial review to stop the dredging at Simms Point / Nygard Cay... ...

Nygard Cay Also Part Of Review Bid

Tribune Staff Reporter

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group has filed an action in the Supreme Court, seeking a judicial review to stop the dredging at Nygard Cay.
The action was filed by Callenders law firm on behalf of Save the Bays, formerly Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay, the new umbrella organisation. Respondents include several government departments, the Town Planning Committee, Peter Nygard and Mr Nygard’s associate, former ambassador to the environment Keod Smith.
The coalition has claimed that work carried out at Simms Point/Nygard Cay, which doubled the size of the area since it was purchased by fashion mogul Peter Nygard, has damaged areas of Clifton Bay, including Jaws Beach.
They have previously called for the government to step in and protect the delicate, environmentally significant area.
Fred Smith, QC, said the judicial review is on the basis that Save the Bays represents the collective interests of persons committed to protecting Clifton Bay and other parts of The Bahamas of particular environmental interest.
“In a nutshell, the judicial review seeks to determine whether the rule of law applies in The Bahamas or not,” he said.
In addition to a judicial review, the action seeks an interim injunction restraining Nygard and Smith from continuing what it claimed was “unauthorised construction and dredging.”
It also alleges that Nygard and Smith are trespassing on Crown land. Specifically, it cites construction of a groyne, dredging of the seabed, demolition of an existing dock at Jaws Beach, construction of a new dock on the sea bed and beach and the placement of large boulders on the western edge of the public boat ramp at Jaws Beach.
The suit alleges that the works being carried out “without the requisite permits and approvals constitute offences under the Planning and Subdivision Act, the Building and Regulation Act and the Coast Protection Act.”
Initially called the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay, the organisation announced its name change to Save the Bays in early May to avoid confusion with the original coalition to save the historic area east of Lyford Cay for the Bahamian public when it was the target of developers some 14 years ago. At that time, the coalition called for the creation of a land and sea park but only the land park was created. The original coalition continues to call for the sea park and has expressed concern about activities at Nygard Cay. With many of the same supporters in both organisations, Save the Bays is also urging passage of a Freedom of Information Act and an Environmental Protection Act.
May 24, 2013