Protest Robert De Niros Caribbean Mega-Resort
- 27th November 2015
text advertisement here from as little as $100USD
per 12 months
De Niros plans for an exclusive Caribbean beachfront
resort are meeting stiff opposition from local citizens
Guardian reports De Niro and Australian billionaire
James Packer are attempting to develop a $250 million,
391-acre mega-resort on the site of the now abandoned
K Club resort in Barbuda.
Club was once a well-known getaway for Princess
Diana and her sons, but has since fallen into disrepair.
The club permanently closed in 2004.
of the De Niro/Packer project, which was first
proposed in 2014, have accused the local government
of trampling the rights of local citizens to make
way for a celebrity-driven project.
Antigua and Barbuda parliament passed the Paradise
Found bill last week, making way for the project,
which opponents claim will wipe out sections
of existing real estate legislation.
law is named for the De Niro/Packer projects
resort and was passed just hours after it was introduced.
law gives De Niro and his partner a number of financial
incentives, including a 25-year tax holiday. In return,
De Niro and Packer will build the resort, which features
an eco-lodge, a yacht marina, and over 40 upscale
cottages with their own private pools. The law also
requires De Niro and Packer to construct a new airport
on the island.
to the larger size of the De Niro/Packer proposal,
the law will require the islands government
to lease them 140 more acres in addition to the 251-acres
of the old K Club resort.
new resort is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to
the area. However, some local citizens, who are being
led by voices of opposition in parliament, contend
that the law will strip away the rights of the elected
Barbuda Council to consider and approve
large-scale property deals on the island.
of those concerned by the passage of the bill also
fear the law will affect the populations shared
ownership of its land going forward.
very bad precedent has been set. Every other investor
could legitimately claim the wish to have some parliamentary
force to give them whatever they desire, parliament
opposition leader Harold Lovel told The Guardian.
least one opposition leader is unnerved by a lack
of transparency with the process of the celebrity
a recent parliamentary session, opposition Senator
Jacqui Quinn accused members of the governing Antigua
Labour Party of an unpatriotic, callous abuse
400 protesters attended the session.
parties maintain that they are not against the resorts
development, or any positive development, but are
merely concerned about the manner in which public
land deals are being handled.
are being asked to trample on an act that enshrines
the rights of the people of Barbuda to hold land in
common and have a say in terms of any major developments,
and other opposition lawmakers say real estate deals
should be made by negotiating existing laws.
Guardian reports that Antigua and Barbuda prime minister
Gaston Browne has been anxious to move the project
forward, amid a fear De Niro and Packer will back
out of the resort.