Nova Scotia

Cabot Links can build condos near Inverness Beach after injunction denied

Activist Neal Livingston has lost his bid through the court system to halt a condominium development in favour of a public park near Inverness Beach, Cape Breton.

Plans to begin development last fall were put on hold due to legal challenge

Cabot Links golf course in Inverness. (Kevin MacLellan/CBC)

Condominium development on a contested parcel of land in Inverness, N.S., can go ahead after an injunction application against Cabot Links Enterprises ULC was quashed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court this week.

Cabot Links Enterprises owns the land in question, as well as the Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs golf courses.

The company planned to develop nine condominiums on land near Inverness Beach. Construction had been set to begin last fall, but development was put on hold pending the outcome of the legal challenge.

Cabot Links Enterprises said the land was purchased without any restrictions from a private landowner, Cape Bald Packers Ltd., in 2011. 

Inverness Beach (County of Inverness)

Neal Livingston, an environmental activist, applied to have the property "dedicated and accepted for public use as a park"  and have the development of the condominiums permanently halted.

He claims the lands have been accepted as a park for recreational use by the public since the 1950s. He argued that the land had been used for years as a public park and parking area for people accessing Inverness Beach.

Livingston said he has no problem with the construction of the condos in the area, just not on the disputed property.

"Cabot owns tons of land," he said. "This is the only piece of property that the public had long-term historical use of and, therefore, is really the only piece of land that the public has any claim to, even though it became privately owned," he said.

Permits in place

Inverness County has issued the necessary building permits to begin development.

Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie says some residents are for a new airport and some area against, but for now, council just wants answers. (Municipality of the County of Inverness)

"Everything was done in a proper manner," said Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie. "The sale of the Cape Bald property was certainly above board."

Supreme Court Justice Patrick Murray dismissed Livingston's application on Monday.

The court decision noted that there is no signage to signify the land as public and evidence suggests the land is used largely as an access route to the beach by local residents.

MacQuarrie expects the development will go forward now. "Many contractors will be busy and Inverness will grow again."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Ludlow

Associate producer

Jennifer Ludlow is an associate producer and technical director for Mainstreet Cape Breton and also works as a reporter. All tips are welcome. Contact her at jennifer.ludlow@cbc.ca

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