NO Man’s Land, Tobago will remain accessible to the public says Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London.
London also stated that No Man’s Land was a protected Ramsar site, meaning there are international guidelines regarding its use. He said it will continue to be a public site and protected area.
London said he wanted to put to rest concerns that the public had regarding a Sandals Resort project on the island.
There has been an online petition against the construction of the resort at No Man’s Land, after an image surfaced on social media showing a detailed plan for a resort at the site, which includes a 750 room hotel.
Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, in announcing the Sandals project last week, said the resort would be built in Tobago, but did not specify exactly where on the island it would be established.
At Tuesday’s post executive council media briefing at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall, London said the issue of preserving Tobago’s natural environment was dealt with previously when Angostura Holdings showed interest in the areas in the early 2000s.
London said Angostura had to get Town and Country approval and a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC), and also had to agree with several conditions determined by Tobago before they were given the green light. He added that Angostura had also proposed to handle sewerage for all of south-west Tobago.
He said: ” It took them three years to come up with their plans, and during those three years they had discussions with the THA. They had extensive discussions with the people in the Tobago, groups, the Tobago sectors. Then after that, based on the recommendations the people of Tobago would have made, there were certain conditions they had to meet.”
Chris James, president of Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association told the Express: ” We look forward to the consultations promised that will take place to learn more because we don’t know enough.”
Earlier this week, London said no final decision has been made as yet concerning the new development.
He said: “What we’ve done is that we have started a conversation. That is all and I think people have a right to protect what they perceive as their interest. I have no problem with that but I think they have to do it based on the facts and I am going to provide all the facts, all the documentation and I think it will bring an end to all the speculation and all the concerns which people have been sharing.”