February 19, 2020
Editor’s Note: At the time of this article (February 2020), the Gilberts have not withdrawn from the Letter of Offer. Furthermore, the provincial government has made no indication that they will be protecting this property. On the contrary, Iain Rankin has said, “At this juncture, [Owls Head] was removed from potential protected areas, and there’s no plans to change that.”
Couple says the decision comes ‘after reflecting on feedback from Nova Scotians’
The couple that wanted to buy Crown land in the Little Harbour, N.S., area for a proposed golf course development has hit pause on the plan.
Beckwith and Kitty Gilbert had a letter of offer from the provincial government to try to negotiate the purchase of 285 hectares of coastal Crown land known as Owls Head provincial park. The couple hoped to acquire the land, which isn’t actually a provincial park, and merge it with 138 hectares they already own to develop as many as three golf courses.
But on Wednesday, the couple issued a statement to CBC News through their lawyer saying they would not be proceeding at this time.
“After reflecting on the feedback from Nova Scotians, the Gilberts have decided to take some time to explore multiple options for their existing properties in Little Harbour, Nova Scotia,” said the statement. “This will allow for discussion with members of the Little Harbour community, provincial and federal governments, and environmental groups.”
The statement goes on to say the golf course proposal was intended to “preserve the natural beauty of Little Harbour, including the magnificent seaside, rugged coastline, white sandy beaches, and breath-taking seaside views. They planned to preserve the lands and provide greater public access to enjoy the natural beauty of Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.”