TCI Reef Fund says EIA on RitzCarlton not thorough, local contractor says beach crowding misleading

#PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands – The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, an environmental protection organization, is concerned about the potential overcrowding on Grace Bay Beach and the potential damage to the nearby coral reef offshore of the world famous strip with the advent of the #RitzCarlton project by the #DesarrollosHotelcoGroup.

The Reef Fund, started in 2010, was at the town meeting last week held to talk about the Environmental Impact Assessment and as a part of their written response to the EIA, the organization said also that “there is no indication in the EIA that there has been an adequate evaluation of the geological strata upon which the proposed development will be built.”

“There appears,” said the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, “to be no formal assessment of the load bearing capacity of the substratum and whether it is adequate for such a high rise development.”

The observation being made by the #TurksandCaicosReefFund is reminiscent of the cry of residents in Millennium Heights, Providenciales who after having their houses built in the Priton subdivision, found huge holes forming under the weight of their homes.  The houses in Millennium Heights are a single storey, the RitzCarlton is projected to be three 12-storey buildings, on Grace Bay.

In a diagram, (not the one displayed in this article) the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund shows what the beach would look like with lounge chairs and umbrellas set up for all of the RitzCarlton guests; they contend it would transform Grace Bay from being a low density beach experience to being overcrowded.

But Phil Robinson, owner of Inter Island Builders said that the perspective illustrated by the Reef Fund is skewed.

Robinson, who favours the development said the mock up by the Reef Fund is misleading because guests will disperse along the beach which stretches for 12 miles, even go to other beaches on #Providenciales because they are free to do so.

Robinson, when he spoke at the meeting, was more concerned about his industry; inquiring about safeguards to ensure local contractors are not short-changed in the development project.

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