Nation News, 11/29/2009: SIX MEN’S TWIST

The owners of Six Men’s Estate have applied to the Town & Country Planning Department for permission to develop 210 of the 240 acres of land at Six Men’s for the construction of a comprehensive development - which will include villas and a hotel for tourists, residential houses, a botanical garden, bird sanctuary, heritage site, restaurants, shopping mall and an 18-hole golf course.

But that has been put on hold for the time being because the owners of the land are in a legal dispute with the Government over the state’s attempt to compulsorily acquire the land.

If the Barbados politicians steer the Government to buy this land what will happen? Will the Government develop and sell the land itself? The Barbados Government has forcibly acquired land from private owners in the past, only to turn around and pass the property into different private ownership.

The previous Barbados Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, appeared to be in favour of the current owners’ plan, and  “appealed for “understanding” from the residents of the [Six Men’s] coastal community.” (See PM’s PLEA, Nation News, 2006) In 2008, Arthur promised residents: “We have to have a lagoon inside it so the boats can be pulled up inside whenever there is a hurricane, …” (See PM: Six Men’s to get complex, Nation News, January 11, 2008)

Whether privately or publicly developed, there will be many economic benefits to the island. The social benefits are cloudy.

Are there plans to make another tourist enclave? Have plans been made to accommodate the Bajans who live there? What will become of Six Men’s fishing boats and its fishing industry?

And the most important question: Will Bajans lose another window to the sea?