During the House of Assembly 17 February sitting it was disclosed that as a result of the reclamation project associated with the cruise pier Maria’s By the Sea Hotel may not have as much access to the sea. However, it was noted that there have been dialogue between the property owner and Government.
The disclosure about the reclamation matter was mentioned during questions and answer segment of the sitting. The questions were asked by Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser.
During the sitting, Hon. Fraser asked Premier, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith if it is the intention of his government to reclaim land outside Maria’s By the Sea, thus essentially cutting off the property upon which Maria’s By the Sea now sit, from the sea? The Opposition member also asked the Premier — is the newly reclaimed land that is the land outside Maria’s By the Sea to become the property of the hotel, and if there was any consultation with the Proprietors of Maria’s By the Sea before work commenced, and what was the outcome?
In response, Hon. Smith said: “Madam Speaker, approximately 13,500 sq ft. will be created as a result of the dredging of the seabed to accommodate the Cruise Pier expansion. It is anticipated that land may be used to create a Board Walk to facilitate the traversing of passengers from Tortola Pier Park to Crafts Alive shopping Centre. The area currently serves as a service road to Maria’s by the Sea and Crafts Alive Village.”
The Premier announced that on 9 January, 2015 correspondence was sent to Maria’s By the Sea offering the first Right of Refusal to lease the remaining portion of reclaimed land after the board walk has been built subject to Cabinet’s approval. Hon. Smith stated that later correspondence was received by the Ministry of Communications and Works on 28 January 2015 indicating the hotel’s interest in the reclaimed property.
Premier Smith also mentioned that there was consultation with the Proprietors of Maria’s By the Sea before work commenced. “Madam Speaker, consultation and information sharing is ongoing with the proprietors of Maria’s By the Sea with respect to the development in front of their property,” Hon. Smith added.