Inverness residents say path to beach was promised

June 27, 2011

By Steve Wadden – Cape Breton Post Published on June 26, 2011

Laura Jean Grant   INVERNESS — A group of concerned residents are continuing to push for the developers of the Cabot Links golf course to provide what they say is a promised beach access path.

At issue is a clause in a transfer of land agreement for the golf course development between the Inverness Development Association (IDA) and Cabot Links. The clause read “the developer shall construct a pathway leading from the end of the unclosed portion of Beach Road # 2 to the beach for the use of the general public. The pathway shall be located so as to minimize interference with the course.”

In a press release issued June 20, Cabot Links announced that in partnership with the IDA, they had found a resolution to the Beach Road # 2 access issue. They stated the path will run across the top eastern border of Cabot Links, with public access from the ends of the unclosed portion of Beach Road # 2, Mine Road, Mill Road and Lower Railway St. It will connect with an accessible ramp and path on the north side of Beach Road # 1, extending to Inverness Beach, as well as the community’s boardwalk.

But that’s not the direct beach access at Beach Road # 2 which Inverness resident Sharon Crighton feels was promised to the community years ago.

“They can get around the wording all they want but we were led to believe that they were putting that path so the public can get to our beach,” said Crighton. “I can’t stress enough what this beach meant to so many people, not just myself but so many people within the community. They didn’t just take a road away, they took a beach, they took a part of our heritage, they took a gathering place.

Cabot Links managing partner Ben Cowan-Dewar said Sunday they have honoured the agreement “both in spirit and intent in providing a path.

“The intent and the agreement which we had in 2005 basically precluded a path from going down through the golf course for reasons of liability which were clear at the time and that was very clear to me and very clear to the IDA who are the community group who sold us the land in 2005,” said Cowan-Dewar.

“The proposal of a pathway leading from the end of the unclosed portion of Beach Road # 2 meets the requirements, as stated in our agreement, for safe public access to the beachfront,” said IDA president Tony MacDonald, in last week’s release.

However, concerned area resident Neal Livingston disagrees, noting a pathway around the perimeter of the golf course is not what was laid out in the agreement.

It is not a very complicated issue. It’s just about somebody who hasn’t done something that they were supposed to do and they continue to sort of obfuscate on it,” he said.

He noted approximately 270 people attended a community meeting last week, where Beach Road # 2 access was on the agenda.

“It was an unbelievable turnout and it was a clear indication on the part of the community that this was really not okay, what was going on,” he said.

 Cabot Links is set to open its first 10 holes on July 23.


One Response to “Inverness residents say path to beach was promised”

  1. Gilly on September 19th, 2011 9:36 pm

    I’d have to say that if Mr. Dewar promised access to a particular beach & then delivered access to another area it would be a kin to saying

    ” Here’s a Golf Course,- oh sure it’s not the course you wanted or were promised – but it’s golf, & really aren’t all golf courses the same – just as all beaches are?”

    What a joke!

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