The article by Lori Little (CP, 07-08-20) was correctly focused on the attempt by Aria Resorts to enforce the claimed “private beach” status.

They justified the use of security guards by referring to incidents of trespass, anti-social behaviour, camp fires and litter…sadly a frequent problem on the beaches at this time of the year.

Perhaps a bit more parental control and discipline might be in order? But why do the security guards need quad bikes?

Read our original story on Priory Bay security guards.

The problem with this beach, which so many have enjoyed over the years, is not the complete story. It is the lost opportunity to restore Priory Bay Hotel, with its 60 acres of parkland.

The previous owner, whose name I do not need to record, walked away from a deal with the Pig Hotel Group, who have an outstanding reputation for creating unique hotels with their own distinctive identity.

Priory Bay ticked all the right boxes, and they made a fair offer. It was accepted at the final meeting, attended by one of their shareholders, Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos, who sponsor the British America’s Cup team based in Portsmouth, so it looked like a win for the Island.

The Pig Hotel Group manage seven hotels in the South of England, and one in Courcheval. They are closely linked to the Limes Hotel Group.

For the Island this would have been a real bonus, providing year round business, employment for permanent staff, with expert training and career prospects in the group, and business for local maintenance contractors.

This group makes a special feature of their kitchen gardens, and the use of local produce for their restaurants. It is rather ironic that they have just opened a new hotel…on Harlyn Bay in Cornwall.

Aria Resorts are not hoteliers, their business model is based on lodges and caravans, and they just wanted the land.

Apparently they now have planning permission to cover the parkland with 56 lodges…aren’t there enough on the Island already? The previous owner of the hotel has a few questions to answer for the local communities and the Island…and the IW Council planners also appear to be compliant with the long-term. consequences of these decisions.

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