This huge development – turned down as a proposal presented under the name Stanhope Shepherd International Limited by the previous UPP government as lacking evidence of the necessary capital – has now had their lease approved under a new name by the ABLP Council. The latest lease document names the developer as ‘Gravesnor Virdee Developments Ltd‘ and the US$450 million project is to be built over nearly 1000 acres of our natural salt ponds, local campsites and areas of National Park. It is said to include two five star hotels, an 18-hole golf course, a 126 mega yacht marina, a polo field, 145 villa residences, 40 commercial units, 74 residential apartments and a donkey sanctuary… all rejected in 2012.
Mackenzie Frank – Chair of BPM – said the CEO of Stanhope Shepherd International Limited, Adam Barrett, had been unable to fulfil most of the requirements outlined in the country’s Land Act at that time. So Barrett then teamed up with Peter Virdee to establish the joint venture and the government under Gaston Browne approved the lease.
Mr Frank pointed out ‘ That organisation (GVD) has never presented any application to the Barbuda Council. They have never presented anything under the name that the Governor General is now being asked to sign a lease for, and in our opinion this is illegal’. The BPM Chairman is also querying the low price at which the 987 acres of land is being leased.