Renewed call for govt to refuse Nygard’s land application
BY TANEKA THOMPSON
Guardian Senior Reporter
The Coalition to Save Clifton believes that the government does not need an environmental assessment of Clifton Bay and reissued calls for Cabinet to reject an application by Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard for a lease of Crown land in the area.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters that he “intervened” in the conflict between Nygard and his billionaire neighbor Louis Bacon.
Christie also said he engaged an American firm to conduct an environmental assessment of the Clifton area, which is located near Lyford Cay.
“There is no need for a discussion,” said Coalition President Rev. C.B. Moss, when contacted for a reaction yesterday. “We ask the government to not approve that application.
“I would assume that the Government of The Bahamas would already have sufficient scientific information to arrive at a conclusion. And the conclusion was arrived at by the government in 2010.”
The previous administration told Nygard that because the work was unauthorized, he must stop doing additional work, according to Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn, who raised the issue in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.
Moss said yesterday, “We are saying to the government, refuse his lease, if the government wants to consider leasing him land on Carmichael Road or anywhere else, that’s a different story.
“Refuse that three acres of land and allow that land to go back to its natural state.”
The prime minister did not say when he intervened or when the environmental assessment was conducted. He also did not name of the American firm or say what its findings were.
“He (Nygard) and Louis Bacon were having problems,” Christie said.
“Those two were having problems, and I intervened with both of them and their problems. The next thing I know, there was a legal action, but I anticipated there would be a legal action, so I engaged an American firm to do a comprehensive environmental assessment.”
Christie told reporters it is up to the court to determine if any environmental damage has occurred at Clifton Bay, but the government has to decide what to do with the land in question.
Lightbourn said yesterday he did not think it was appropriate for Christie to intervene in the Nygard, Bacon dispute.
But he said action needs to be taken on what becomes of the land.
“Some decision needs to be made, but whether you lease it, whether you sell it to him or whether you order him to remove it, government needs to address it,” he said.
“This is not the appropriate time for the government to become directly involved because it would seem that they are taking sides in determining whether there is in fact any environmental damage being caused by virtue of Nygard having extended his property.”
Members of the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay allege that Nygard Cay has doubled in size since Nygard purchased the land.
The billionaire acquired the most western tip of Lyford Cay in 1984.
However, Nygard’s attorneys have argued that additional land formed as a result of the gradual and imperceptible deposit of materials from the ocean onto land.
July 20, 2013