Virgin Islands Party candidate for the Fourth District Luce Hodge Smith believes granting the Willy T Floating Bar and Restaurant approval to operate from the now uninhabitable Salt Island would be unwise.
Back in December, Junior Minister of Tourism Dr Hubert O’Neal had told BVI News that discussions were being had with the owners of the vessel. He said they were presented with options of places to relocate their operations such as Salt Island.
But, while speaking at her campaign launch in Road Town on Saturday, Hodge-Smith said the restaurant could pollute the area.
“It is my understanding that plans are afoot to grant the owners of Willy T permission to anchor at Salt Island,” she said. “That proposed anchorage is currently being used by local fishermen who set their fish pots and dive for conchs. There is also the potential for pollution of the beach if that happens [and] it would detract from the pristine nature of the island.”
Another reason she gave for her objections was that the anchorage was not always safe.
“So, to the current administration I ask of you on behalf of the descendants of Salt Island to reconsider your proposal,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hodge-Smith said if she and the VIP is voted into office, she will push to preserve the legacy and heritage of the island. She said she would also assist in passing legislation to protect the island’s natural environment.
The Willy T operated for decades off The Bight at Norman Island before they were evicted due to a major undertaking that was scheduled to take place on the privately-owned island.
Not long after relocating to Great Harbour on Peter Island, they were given another eviction notice requiring them to move by the end of 2018. From all indications, the Willy T still operates from Great Harbour.
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