Small resort faces loss of new hotel beach

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Coral Sands (from social media)

(CNS): The manager of Coral Sands, a small condo complex in George Town, told the Central Planning Authority that the seawall built as part of a hotel development next door takes the beach away from the old condo complex from North Church Street. The resort’s owners have applied for planning for a sea wall in a bid to save its beach, which they now fear has been completely eroded. But the request was denied, largely because the wall did not encounter ocean setbacks, but also because it was unlikely to solve the problem.

According to the April 13 CPA meeting minutes, Coral Sands manager Harry Lynch told members they wanted to prevent hurricanes and nor’westers from washing away what is understandably a transient beach because it will no longer be replenished when the hotel currently under construction by NCB next door is completed.

While the beach has historically come and gone, owners of Coral Sand will be sandwiched between an old wall to the south and soon a new resort to the north that will prevent any sand from returning to their shore once the weather washes away this which is still there now.

But the APC has raised concerns, which match those submitted by the Department of the Environment, that the proposed wall would likely have the opposite effect and in effect take away the entire beach. In its observations, the DoE said the wall was too close to the ocean and its construction would negatively impact the water near the hotel, which is a marine protected area.

The ministry noted that the recent construction of a seawall at the Regal Beach Club condos has caused significant turbidity and sedimentation, polluting the marine environment. The DoE explained that it takes a stand against all hard structures on an active beach or near the mean high water mark, because the greater the distance waves can travel on a beach before hitting a barrier, the greater the energy is dissipated.

“The seawall would likely prevent this natural activity,” the DoE said, noting that it would prevent, not help, beach nourishment after a major storm by inhibiting the beach’s natural process of recovery from what is a perched beach. Seawalls are well documented to be the cause of long-term beach erosion, the DoE added.

According to the minutes, the APC refused the request because it did not respect the minimum margin required in relation to the high water mark and that it “is of the opinion that the requester has not sufficiently justified lower margin.


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