Elected Member of Parliament for the South, Minister Nickolas Steele is holding strong to his position that the Grand Anse Jetty was not removed from the beach front directly in front of his property to facilitate the construction of a restaurant and bar I which he is a major player.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, the senior government minister said he does not agree with those who have been expressing those views.
Steele made the statement against the backdrop of ongoing construction work on a concrete structure on his property in the area.
This development has given rise to more suspicion that the Grand Anse Jetty was moved to suit Steele’s own “whims and fancies” and those of the developers of the nearby Silver Sands project.
In January this year, the dilapidated floating Grand Anse Jetty, which was for over 16 years located on the beach front directly in front of Steele’s property, was removed and relocated further south closer to the Grand Anse Vendors Market, amidst widespread debate that he along with the Silver Sands developers, did not want the jetty close to the multi-million dollar project.
The move was done in the face of strong objection from some political figures, who joined members of the Water Taxi Association in expressing concerns that ordinary people are being displaced in order “to suit the whims and fancies of foreign investors.”
Confirming the construction of a restaurant and bar on his property, Minister Steele acknowledged that there were these specific concerns expressed by by a number of affected persons.
However, he told THE NEW TODAY that while it would be beneficial to all to have the jetty at its former location in front of his property, the fact is that “compromises have to be made for the better good.
“I compromised for the better good and right is right, so the jetty had to move in the best interest of all the stakeholders,” he said.
The senior government minister disclosed that work started before the removal of the jetty.