Devastated by a hurricane eight months ago, islanders of Barbuda face a bitter battle between development and tradition

When Prince Charles flew over the tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda last September, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, what he saw was “painful beyond words”.

Below him was a small sea of blue-tarpaulin and debris, where once he would have seen a jumble of corrugated metal roofs. Many of the neat, brightly coloured homes were still standing, just about, but their roofs had been ripped off, their windows blown out, and walls torn down.

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But efforts to repair the devastation have exacerbated a bitter land dispute involving colonial independence, a £185 million development backed by film star Robert de Niro and Australian billionaire James Packer, and the future of one of the Caribbean’s last undeveloped…

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