By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
When the Paradise Club in Cane Garden Bay installed a wooden swing in the shallow water adjacent to its location, it quickly became a popular attraction to locals and tourists.
However, the establishment has been ordered to remove the attraction and operators of the business are now fighting to have it re-installed.
The establishment was instructed to remove the swing because the requisite approval wasn’t sought before it was erected, BVI News was told.
“I didn’t know you needed approval because I didn’t see it as a ‘sea bed’. It was just a great idea I came up with,” owner of Paradise Club, Ron Cline told BVI News.
He continued: “I was resisting, and so they threatened me and told me they were going to break it down so I said: if I’m in the wrong here, I will take it out. So I took it out of the water but I am going to fight it to the end. If it doesn’t get approved, I will go to higher heights.”
In the meantime, Cline said no substantial information on the proper way to apply for permission has been forthcoming from the Ministry of Natural Resources, despite his attempts.
Cline said he was instructed to write to the ministry. But, when he spoke to BVI News late last week, he said: “I got a back and forth with three different answers on the procedure.”
“The last few weeks they told me that it had to come out of the water in order for anything to get done. So I said ‘it is already in place and if it is going to be approved, why should I remove it?’ So all I am saying to them was if it is going to be approved, at least give me a timeline but they are just stonewalling me.”
Cline said the new swing had lured many to take photos and enjoy the latest attraction at the tourist hub.
“They love it! So many people that come out and takes pictures of that swing both BVIslanders and tourists alike,” Cline told BVI News.
Meanwhile, our news centre sought a comment from the Minister for Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley. However, he referred us to Senior Administrative Officer in the Sea Bed Unit, Austin Maduro.
When contacted, Maduro said he had no comment and abruptly ended the call.
And when BVI News sought comment from Junior Tourism Minister Shereen Flax-Charles, she referred us back to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
“This is not a tourism issue so all comments should be sought from the Ministry of Natural Resources,” she said via WhatsApp on Friday.
Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.