MARIGOT–Tropical Wave Restaurant proprietor at Le Galion Patrick Turner says Conservatoire du Littoral on Saturday, September 10, ordered the demolition company to rip out electric cables belonging to Tropical Wave while knowing phone, electric cable and water storage is critical to the survival of the business.
Turner added Conservatoire also removed an access path to the restaurant and placed rocks to block it. “This side walk was used not only for delivery but also ambulance and handicap access,” he said.
Responding to the accusations, Conservatoire representative Julie Walker told The Daily Herald the demolition company’s brief was to completely return the area to a natural state and that meant cables too close had to be moved.
“We asked him (Turner) two or three times to relocate the cables,” Walker explained. “They said yes they would do it, but never did it. The company had no choice then but to cut the cables.”
Tropical Wave has been operating in a state of limbo since Turner refused the Conservatoire’s proposal to build at a new location for him at their expense on a parcel of land (AW 17) lower down the beach.
“Nothing has changed. We proposed a new restaurant for him,” Walker added. “The demolition work on the hotel buildings finished today so for now there is nothing happening. But in the future, I can’t say when, there will most likely be an eviction process initiated.”
Conservatoire du Littoral officially took possession of parcel AW 16 in December 2015 through an expropriation procedure and lengthy court proceedings with SCI Le Galion.
Its plan is to turn the area into a natural public park for picnics and leisure activities, while also installing a water sports centre and snack bar.
Tropical Wave Restaurant and its proprietor Turner have been the dominant features of Le Galion Beach since 1977. Turner is listed as the proprietor of AW16.
Turner said: “It’s a shame it has come to this on the friendly island. I’ve spent my life cleaning and beautifying and making sure everyone could enjoy this special beach. It’s been my life’s passion. After so much effort to preserve and protect Galion Beach I’m saddened by the behaviour of the Government.”
“Tropical Wave has catered to the population and tourists alike for years. It is registered with the commerce department, is tax compliant, has multiple employees who are declared and depend on the business, not to mention my own family.
“With respect to everyone, I suggest we take a moment to consider the consequences of their (Conservatoire) actions. I’ve been a steward to the ‘Spirit of Galion Beach’ for all to enjoy and promoted the safety and beauty of this location,” he continued.
“Wake up St. Martin, it’s time to realise ‘we the people’ are the friendly island and ‘we’ built the reputation and tourism with years of hard work. Now that the fruit is on the trees I planted so long ago, this is how I am treated. They must really want the fruit.
“Population beware – if the Spirit of Le Galion Beach is misplaced that means the population has lost the last remaining beach for all the people. Explain that to your kids when you are no longer welcome. I intend to stay and finish my mission of securing the fruits of my labour to offer a friendly experience to all my customers,” he stated.
Turner warned that French Quarter is at a “boiling point” over his situation and that of the “Our Land Matters” and “Wake Up St. Martin” movements.
“People are talking revolution but French Quarter representatives and other leaders are trying for diplomatic solutions,” Turner said.
A petition to save Tropical Wave has reached close to 1,000 signatures.
Source: Daily Herald
Tropical Wave accuses Conservatoire of ‘forcing us out’ after cables cut