Statement on Walter Fletcher Beach (Operated as Aquasol)
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has observed inaccuracies in sections of the media as it relates to the UDC property in Montego Bay which operates as Aqua Sol.
The UDC in 2007 entered into a 10 year lease with Reggae Adventures Limited to operate the Walter Fletcher Beach under the Aqua Sol name. The UDC opted not to renew the lease on its expiration on May 31, 2017, which was communicated to the lessee and a period of 60 days afforded the group to wind up operations. The 60 days expired on July 31, 2017. The UDC did not repossess the property until August 8, 2017 in order to facilitate the operations spanning the two public holidays (Emancipation Day – August 1 and Independence Day – August 6), when we are aware that a significant number of patrons visit the beach.
The lessee sought an injunction on August 8, 2017 to continue operating the property. A Consent Order was agreed by the parties in the interest of trying to resolve the issues without litigation. On August 11, the settlement was agreed by both parties in a Consent Order which allowed the claimant to remain for a further 60 days on certain conditions stated thereon and will expire on October10, 2017. The content of the Consent Order is attached thereon for full disclosure.
The media report attributes to Mrs Messado the statement “this is a trend” accusing the UDC of “acting improperly as was done with Cosmos in Negril”, suggesting that the UDC had caused the discontinuation of that operation. The fact is that one year into the renewal of a 49 year lease, Cosmos advised the UDC that he was retiring and in keeping with the terms of the agreement sought permission to assign his lease to someone of his choice to operate his interest.
The UDC as part of the redevelopment for the Greater Montego Bay area has been looking at the Waterfront which is integral to the sustainability of the life of the city. As a first step, the UDC has sought and received funding through the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, for the first phase of groyne rehabilitation. The repair of the groynes is critical to protection of the shoreline and facilitating the redevelopment of the three beaches, Closed Harbour (Dump Up), Walter Fletcher now known as Aqua Sol and Gun Point.
Development concepts for Closed Harbour have already been shared with Montego Bay, at the Municipal Corporation, at a Town Hall Meeting, at the contract signing to start the groynes project and most recently at the Montego Bay Invest Breakfast. The UDC has indicated in all the presentations that the developments are for the benefit of the people, and further that the development concept is informed by the interaction with Montegonians who indicated what they would wish to see in any such development.
The Walter Fletcher Beach is one of three beaches created by the UDC in the 1970s for public use. It is the intention of the UDC that the Walter Fletcher Beach will continue to operate as a public beach, but one that is in keeping with the acceptable standards of public comfort and safety.
For further information, please contact
The Corporate Relations and Marketing Department
Urban Development Corporation
12 Ocean Boulevard
Tel: (876) 656-8031
August 14, 2017