NEPA Secures Six Convictions For Breaches Of Beach Control Act

September 15, 2017

The National Environment & Planning Agency has secured six (6) convictions totaling $900,000 in fines through the Courts, in its drive to clampdown on breaches of the island’s environmental and planning laws.

The prosecutions stem from charges brought against businessmen Nohaud Azan and Gobind Purshotamdas and development company, Silhouette Bay Limited, in the St. James Parish Court on Wednesday.

Azan, Silhouette Bay Limited and Gobind Purshotamdas Mahtani were charged with encroaching on the foreshore and floor of the sea without the requisite beach licences. The encroachments are: construction of a groyne and 4 pylons; construction of a groyne and 10 pylons and 10 sand bags and 8 pylons, respectively.

The defendants pleaded guilty and were fined $150,000 for each breach by Judge Sandria Wong-Small.

In-house attorney-at-law, Stewart Panton, represented the NEPA during the matter. Panton said breaches of the Beach Control Act will not be ignored by the Agency, especially with the ever increasing impact of climate change.

The Attorney urged individuals or companies who may be seeking to build along the shoreline to seek the requisite approvals prior to construction. Under the Beach Control Act, all encroachments on the foreshore and floor of the sea require a Beach Licence.

Persons who contravene this provision are liable on conviction before a Parish Judge to a maximum fine of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both.

Director of Legal & Enforcement, Morjorn Wallock is encouraging persons who are currently in breach to visit the Agency’s Development Assistance Centre or the Application Secretariat Branch for assistance with becoming compliant and avoid prosecution.