De Niro, together with his business partner James Packer, has bought the remainder of the lease on the land from its previous owner and has been granted planning permission to revamp, re-open and extend the K Club.
However, more than 300 of the island’s 1,500 residents have signed a petition objecting to the development, which they say is excessive and illegal.
The row is the subject of an ongoing court case which the islanders say they will take all the way to the Privy Council in London, Barbuda’s ultimate court of appeal.
Islander Mackenzie Frank, the man leading the protest group Barbuda People’s Movement, said: “No one objects to the K Club being re-opened, but they want so much extra land. There are an awful lot of issues at stake.”