Fight for Little Dunn's River starts Nov 24
The court case brought against the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) by Little Dunn’s River in St Ann, its surrounding communities, and the Jamaica Beach Birthright Environmental Movement (JaBBEM) will begin on November 24.
The petitioners are asking the court rule that Little Dunn’s River be reopened, not be privatised, and should allow public access to the facility.
The beach was closed in August 2022 after a killing along the roadway near the facility. At the time, the police said that the beach was closed to facilitate an investigation in the matter.
This closure followed efforts by the UDC to close the facility in 2013 amidst unconfirmed reports that the land was to be privatised.
Following several protests by citizens, including a church group, the facility remained open.
Users of the facility contended it was a suitable alternative to the pricier, tourist-focused Dunn’s River Falls and Park located in close proximity.
Last year’s closure was also met with several protests, but this time the beach has remained closed, forcing the court case.
Attorney for the public, Marcus Goffe, argues that Little Dunn’s River has always been a safe haven for locals to enjoy Jamaica's beauty and should remain as such.
“Little Dunn’s River has been a part of the public enjoyment and natural environment of St Ann for so very long, affording persons the chance to be able to enjoy Jamaica’s natural beauty and not necessarily having to go to a tourist spot to do so,” he said.
Goffe said the closure of the beach has prevented several persons from continuing to make a livelihood at the facility, even though they have paid their trade licenses and were paying taxes.
- Carl Gilchrist
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