Strip of beach could not be classified as private property

Dear Editor,

It was reported in the Stabroek News that the Marriott Hotel had placed twenty  signs on a strip of sandy beach on the foreshore north of its property and designated it, “Private Property and that access without permission is prohibited.”

This strip of sandy beach on the foreshore is within land designated by the Government of Guyana as the Sea Defence Reserve and therefore its jurisdiction falls under the authority of the Sea Defence Board. Evidence from Minutes of the Sea Defence Board and Publications of the Official Gazette indicate that ownership of this strip of land has not been ceded to Marriott Hotel and therefore the unilateral action it took to bar the public from the sandy beach on the Sea Defence Reserve in front of its property was illegal.

Apparently, it was so advised as a subsequent report stated that the restricted access signs were removed from the beach and therefore the public could once again have unfettered access to the area.

In Barbados and elsewhere in the Caribbean some hotels have sole rights to their beachfront properties and the public is not allowed access to them without permission, this being the law of the land. Fortunately, Guyana has not yet implemented such laws.

Yours faithfully,

Charles Sohan

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