Categorized | National News

Fields: Cabbage Beach Land Is Private Property

Atlantis Senior Vice President Ed Fields yesterday in a press release sought to dismiss any notion that he is not sympathetic towards the Cabbage Beach Vendors involved in the ongoing land access dispute, for their business; while asserting that the land in question is actually private property.


The release said Mr. Fields should be the one individual who can relate to such vendors after having worked closely with merchants for 16 years.


Earlier this week, Mr. Fields after a long moment of silence, spoke to the issue on local radio talk show on STAR 106.5.


“I have not commented on this subject because I feel that when it comes to discussing these things, sometimes you kind of have to wait for the waves to recede,” he said.


“I thought I’d stay away and listen to the speculation, the misinformation, see where people are coming from and go from there.”

“There has to be some clarity presented because there’s a conflation of issues. Emotions are taking over.  We need to look at where the injustice lies. An act that you see or feel is one way, may not be that way. We need to take away the emotionalism of the foreigner versus the Bahamian.  We need to focus on the fact that this a property issue,” he added.

According to Mr. Fields, nearly a century ago, two families owned the land in question (Cabbage Beach), and then ownership was eventually transferred to Atlantis, and subsequently, to Access Industries.

Based on this premise, Mr. Fields maintained that the land is private property.

“I’ve had very close interaction with these people for years, I know what they’re feeling and can imagine what they’re feeling. But there’s a confluence of emotion, politics and the law. There’s no confiscation here. It’s an issue of property rights, not birth right.”

Further, he said in 2003, he (Mr. Fields) discovered that an unauthorised government agency approved and granted licenses for individuals to sell wares on the beach; and since the land was not being occupied otherwise, an accommodation was enforced with an agreement allowing sales to take place with an outlined code of conduct.

Mr. Fields added that businesses was pursued after all parties involved agreed to the terms, and signed the contracts.

“However, nine years later, in 2012, a skirmish arose among the vendors and it was discovered that the number of licenses granted had doubled, now allowing 40 or so vendors access to the beach instead of the original 20,” he said.

The release further stated that Fields and his Atlantis colleagues decided they would oblige the vendors under the condition that they, too, sign the agreement acknowledging the land as private property and agreeing to the terms which state that if, at any time, the vendors are in breach of the contract, or if the property owner decides to use the land for private purposes, licenses would be revoked in a minimum of 30 days’ notice.

However, Mr. Fields said there the access point will be located at the end of Garden View Drive on Paradise Island, but only for recreational use.

He added that it is solely up the government’s responsibility to find an alternative business sight for the vendors.

“I am going to say it very clearly and I beg to be contradicted. It’s the responsibility of the agency which unilaterally offered the licenses to find a solution to the problem.”

Back in February dozens of irate vendors of the Cabbage Beach Business Owners Association (CBBOA) protested at the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge on Monday after being denied access to their place of business.













Written by Jones Bahamas

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