The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) notes the concerns raised by the Ocho Rios Ministers Fraternal re the Belmont Property in Ocho Rios, St Ann and wishes to reiterate that the property referred to as Little Dunn’s River, has been secured by the Corporation to prevent the unauthorized use and to allow for its phased development.
The Corporation, as the agency responsible for the property, had no recourse, given the unscrupulous practice of some persons who have been illegally operating at the property and charging persons for its use. The Belmont property is currently not licensed as a public beach as it lacks sanitary conveniences and has no insurance coverage in place.
The UDC is cognisant that the public is allowed to use the beach up to the high water mark and no attempt is being made to restrict this use. The Corporation cannot however, sanction the continued use in its current form, but must in the interest of public safety and order; implement control measures for the use of the property.
The Belmont property will be developed by the UDC for public use. The development plans include the provision of the requisite amenities, the creation of a boardwalk for safer access to the falls and parking to alleviate the congestion created along the roadway leading in and out of the town of Ocho Rios.
Once the development is completed, the public will be allowed access in keeping with the approvals to operate a public bathing facility. In the interim, the UDC wishes to remind that the Ocho Rios Bay Beach is open to the public at the affordable rate of J$200 for adults and J$100 (2 to 11 years old) for children.
The Corporation is committed to ensuring that the property is developed for the use of the public, but its management and maintenance must be in accordance with good order. We believe the people of Ocho Rios in particular and Jamaica in general deserve no less.