Summary of the Smugglers Cove-Belmont Pond Draft Management Plan
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Summary of the Smugglers Cove-Belmont Pond Draft Management Plan (2001/2005)

Prepared by Town and Country Planning Department,
Chief Minister’s Office, Government of the British Virgin Islands

This draft management plan was developed in 2001 (and revised in 2005) to “examine the management needs and support facilities of the users, and recommend the types of management systems the area could best function under”. (page 3).  It explicitly noted that the…  “Belmont- Smugglers Cove area…( includes)  Belmont Pond, Smugglers Cove Beach, Belmont Bay beach, Belmont Coconut Grove. Belmont Peak and Belmont Grove” (page 3).

There are two key points to note: first it was produced by a section of the Chief Minister’s office (TCP), so it should not be overlooked by that office.  Second, it includes not only the lands currently owned by the government (from Black Rock on Long Bay (Belmont Bay beach) to the parking lot on Smugglers Cove, but also the rest of Smugglers Cove; that is, it covers the part that is not currently owned by the government (the two lots currently owned by Belmont Estates and by the estate of Bob Denniston). The maps in the report clearly show that the area being considered goes all the way to Gun Pont at the western end.

The plan “proposes the creation of a park system to be governed by one of the two management options for the area:
The Ministry of Education and Culture serves as the directing body, coordinating the plan with the Tourist Board and National Parks Trust, or,
The National Parks Trust oversees the area’s development and the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Tourist Board support this organization while administering their respective plans”(page 9).

A key point is that this area is to be considered as a “park” or conservation area, rather than being made available for commercial ‘development’.

Many uses and activities of this park are envisaged (pages 13 to 20):
      1.  Historic, cultural and archeological : eg., documenting and preserving the
           slave-era burial ground, reconstruction of the Arawak site.
2.  Nature, educational and scientific: eg., creating a satellite of the Botanic
     gardens, Darwin Initiative project, site for class projects.
Recreational: eg.,hiking trails on Belmont Peak, walking trails through the dunes, mangroves, and Palm Grove.
Water-related activities (educational/scientific): eg., species identification, and ecosystem instruction for children.
Water-related activities (recreational): eg., beach activities, such as swimmimg, sun bathing and low impact sports.
Physical development: eg., restrooms, beverage and souvenir stalls, retreat house (in ruin hill) for civic and educational functions, parking for users of the beach, retreat and Arawak site.
Infrastructure: eg.,  upgrading of access roads, landscaping, waste disposal.



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