Shifting sands: Two diggers are seen here, circled, moving sand from Cross Bay beach. It’s owned by the developers but used by locals.  *Photo supplied
Shifting sands: Two diggers are seen here, circled, moving sand from Cross Bay beach. It’s owned by the developers but used by locals. *Photo supplied

Residents were shocked to wake up on Saturday and find heavy construction machinery digging up and removing sand from their beach.

Islanders with access rights to Cross Bay in Southampton say they were not told excavators and trucks would suddenly descend on the beach at the weekend.

And they were left concerned and confused as to why the crews were shifting sand from Cross Bay to Boat Bay on the old Sonesta site, which is now owned by the Green family.

They said they had never been told about plans to shift the sand from Cross Bay to Boat Bay.

And some questioned why the work was done in the middle of summer, when it could have been done in the winter.

Developers Sinky Bay Ltd, which is owned by the Greens, has since apologized for any inconvenience the work may have caused.

In a letter to residents, the firm says it has the required permission for the work.

One local resident, who asked not to be named, told the Bermuda Sun: “Cross Bay is a sensitive area for the residents who use it.

“If they had just informed us beforehand that this was what they were doing, that would have made a big difference. 

“But no one had any knowledge of what was going on until it had happened and people can jump to conclusions.

“People just woke up on Saturday and saw all these excavators and bulldozers digging up sand from Cross Bay beach and taking it away. We just want to be kept informed on what is going on — as we have been in the past.”

The source told us that a lot of area residents are concerned: “The Green family had a meeting with us and showed us plans but they never mentioned anything about taking away the sand. This is the beach that everyone uses. 

“We feel insulted; they [the Greens] told us one thing and are now doing something else.”

Cross Bay is part of the Southampton Beach Resort property owned by the Greens, although many local residents have access rights to the beach.

A second neighbour with access rights to the beach added: “I was a bit surprised and disgruntled to see what they were doing.

“I felt they left the beach in a bit of a mess and there were some pretty big holes over the weekend.

“Because we have had beach rights for many decades I believe we should have been consulted at least. They had talked us through their plans before but no one remembers them mentioning this work.

“I believe the work has been cleared up properly now but the fact remains it should have been handled better.”

The Green family purchased the Southampton Beach Resort, formerly Sonesta Beach Hotel, in March of last year.

In a letter delivered to some residents this week, Sinky Bay Ltd apologized “for any inconvenience” —  see panel, below.

The Bermuda Sun reached out to the Greens and Sinky Bay Ltd for a response but we were told neither would be commenting on the situation. 

Read more:  Firm apologizes for ‘inconvenience’