One hundred and five steps now replace a previous 100 stones, which for decades served as the access route to Malgretoute Beach for the Soufriere community. Previously a precarious crossing over rocks and stones and through thick brush, the route is made safe and comfortable for beach goers wishing to get to the beach from Baron’s Drive. The project was one initiated by Freedom Bay Hotel Development.
Expressions of gratitude from Soufriere Parliamentary representative Hon Harold Dalson to Freedom Bay executives have been effusive, in view of the history of the old route which dates back over 100 years.
“Thank You Freedom Bay for love shown to the Soufriere community in replacing these steps and with an additional five. Over the space of 100 years, a number of factors contributed to the wear and tear on the route, such as foot traffic and landslides. Since 2010, that route has been impassable, so opening the access means a lot to the people,” The Minister said.
With concerns about beach access common in the dialogue preceding the establishment of any new resort development everywhere, Freedom Bay Saint Lucia CEO Wayne Girard said the developers’ approach to addressing these concerns is premised on the theory that actions speak louder than words.
“This used to be the people’s route to the beach. But the fates conspired to condemn it rendering it impassable. In re-opening it and making it safer for the people, we are unambiguous in stating our commitments to the community. At the end of the day, the credibility of our brand rests in the crux of our community relationships.”
With the expectation of building the 5-star luxury eco resort – Freedom Bay by Six Senses, Freedom Bay continues to support local stakeholder groups in Soufriere in nurturing the spirit of collaboration and proactive action for community development. A number of projects are being fine-tuned to this end. One is the erection of billboard signage at three distinctive points of entry in Soufriere – namely Myers Bridge, Quartre Chemain and Hummingbird beach junction. Another is the refurbishment and beautification of the Soufriere Town Square for which designs are already produced, awaiting a period of community consultation to garner people’s feedback and input before the commencement for works.
SRDF CEO Walter Francois says “these proposed developments will really go a long way in offering a pleasant welcome for visitors to the town of Soufriere.”