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National Parks Commissioner halts unauthorized work on Dockyard Drive and insists that businesses comply with the law

The Nelson’s Dockyard National Parks Authority is threatening to pursue action against an area businessman for openly violating Park regulations.

Last Friday, October 9, after receiving a phone call, Parks Commissioner Ann-Marie Martin and her team caught the business operator directing backhoe operations on the Colibri property. Reportedly the businessman had caused some 4 to 6 inches of material to be removed from a sidewalk on Dockyard Drive.

His actions came in for sharp criticism from the Park’s management, since, apparently, he had started clearing work before obtaining permission from the Authority. Accordingly, the work has since beenhalted.

Martin says persons risk doing more harm than good when they begin projects without consulting the relevant authorities.

“We are dealing with these instances too often, and it suggests there is a blatant disregard for the law and a disrespect of process by some of these business owners,” she says.

Martin says her office must continually remind them that they are obliged to operate within the framework of the laws that established the National Parks.

She notes that Section 5(2)a of the Parks Regulations of 2012 is clear and unambiguous in detailing the list of activities that require written permission.  

Martin says she is quite certain that this is not the way these business people operate in their home countries and, accordingly, violations will not be tolerated. 

While the Authority welcomes business activity and visitors, she saysthe Regulations must be followed.

Allegations are that this is not the first time the same business owner has violated the Parks’ building regulations.   The Authority is also investigating whether he has expanded his restaurant business ontoCrown land.

It was only two months ago that the Authority, in conjunction with the Development Control Authority, halted work on a plunge pool being constructed at a home within the confines of the Park. 

Work was stopped due to the proximity of the pool to the coastline.

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