…A small State such as Trinidad & Tobago must accord a very high priority to the judicious management and utilization of its land resources or perish. All elements of land policy must be designed to ensure that these finite resources are efficiently utilized and husbanded in such a manner as to serve the long term interests of the national community…”
The problems being experienced by sister islands appear to be similar?
Submitted by Ras Jahaziel
The links to the images in the Slide Show are provided below. To the lawyers, we are not in a court of law.
The attempt to plant houses at Lower Greys provoked several like-minded people to meet at the location to express disappointment with our land use policy. BU reported on the meeting in the blog Future Trust Meeting At Boarded Hall. BU is pleased to share the speaking notes of Senator Dr. Frances Chandler who was a featured speaker at the meeting.
Let me start by saying that I am well aware that affordable housing is a priority for Barbados and have to commend the present administration for the noticeable increase in housing which has come about in the last four and a half years.
However, I will never agree with taking good agricultural land out of production to be put into housing. Once it goes into housing it is lost forever. And there is no need to do this. I drive around the country daily and I know there is enough non-arable land which could be used .
Also, if we are going to take land out, start with the dry coastal areas which present challenges to farmers-not the fertile lands of St George, St Thomas and so on. The land next to us which is about to be used for housing belongs to Hannays Plantation, one of the best managed and most successful plantations in the island.
A reminder the Future Centre Trust National meeting on Food Security, Permaculture, Land Use policy and Agriculture will be held this Sunday at 4 PM. Featured speakers slated are Dr Chelston Brathwaite, Keith Laurie, Dr Frances Chandler and Keeley Holder.
The meeting will be held on the open area at Boarded Hall. All Barbadians and friends of Barbados are invited to come and have a say.
The administration of justice in Barbados has all but ground to a halt as the country waits for the roadblock which prevents Marston Gibson from taking up the position of Chief Justice of Barbados to be cleared. The Prime Minister and Attorney General are both lawyers and are aware of the issues which currently plague our system of justice. They obviously wouldn’t dare admit it publicly but they know.
One of the problems of several which lawyers of late have been concerned about is the audio recording at the Supreme Court. It seems incredible but there you have it. It appears that the recording equipment is set to such a sensitive level that it even picks up whispered consultations between counsel on the same side and between counsel and clients.
Even for those who are not trained in law you would have gleaned from Perry Mason or Matlock that disclosures between lawyer and client is governed by the legal concept of attorney-client privilege. To add to this betrayal of confidentiality the exchanges are then made a part of the court transcript. This is happening in the palatial environs of the Judicial Centre in Whitepark.
“We face a problem in Barbados with smallholdings. A lot of these date back to pre-emancipation days when many non-slaves were what was described as “free persons of colour”. However, to be able to hold public office, they had to own in excess of 10 acres of land. Many free persons of colour purchased the minimum 10 acres of land and many of those titles remain with the descendants today”
The controversial Bizzy Williams brother of Sir Charles Othniel Williams is in the news again for asserting the government is to blame for the ‘spiralling price of land’. He is partially correct although it is not as simple as he suggests. A former Commissioner of Land Tax stated recently if government wants to significantly reduce the price of land it would have to release several lots into the market to satisfy current demand. This would lead to a measure of price equilibrium. It is no secret that demand for land currently outstrips supply. It is easy for Barbadians to take pot shots at the Williams brothers because they are known to be rich and therefore an easy target. The fact that both of them are outspoken means the Williams target becomes even bigger.
When analysing the issue of spiralling land prices in Barbados several factors must be considered. Successive governments have used real estate development to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) especially on the West Coast. There are also Barbadians living in the Diaspora who have been encouraged to invest in Barbados to respond to government’s insatiable need for foreign exchange. What about the ownership of large tracts of land which Amused reminded us of in the quote above and the impact it has had on freeing up land?
BU continues our exposé of the secretive world of Peter Allard. It is important for unsuspecting Barbadians to appreciate how the tentacles of a rich foreigner could have and possible still can; compromise the workings of the sovereign state Barbados. Here is a report which was prepared by Canadian fugitive from justice, Donald Robert Best, who operates under the codename NATHAN, taken from the files of Kenneth William McKenzie in the Nelson Barbados matter. Bear in mind Peter Allard is a rich Canadian who has taken a liking to Barbados. He is the owner of the closed Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. He sanctioned and paid all bills and along with the Knox family, was responsible for one of the worst international invasions of privacy, abuses of legal process and downright stinking behaviour ever to have been exposed anywhere in the world that we are aware. Please note that, although BU has a document which is in the public domain, a decision to redact the report out of respect for the privacy of certain individuals named was taken.
The report details:
- Collecting evidence and contacts on money laundering.
- Investigating and trying to obtain the names of Bajans with off-shore accounts and companies in the Marshall Islands (close to New Zealand).
- Attempting to establish contacts with and enlisting the interest and support of Jeanette Molina, a publicity-hungry and highly injudicious (if the report of Mr Best is to be believed) assistant district attorney with the New York County District Attorney’s office who, allegedly and according to Donald Best, “would be interested in pursing any case we [Allard, Best, Knoxes, McKenzie et al] bring her in the New York area”.
- Collecting the shredded documents from the garbage of David Shorey from his Saint Michael address (next door to the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence, the British High Commissioner’s residence and countless other diplomatic and government residences AND TO GOVERNMENT HOUSE) and shipping them to Canada to be re-assembled.
- Conducting property searches in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas on, among others, Mr Shorey, Lynne Marie Simmons (the daughter of Sir David and Lady Simmons), Leonard and Marcia Nurse, Dan and Shirley Sherman and the parents of Barbados’ leader of the opposition, Mia Mottley, Elliott and Amor Mottley. Mr Elliott Mottley Q.C. is the former attorney-general of Bermuda and a highly internationally respected jurist.
- Of particular concern, the surveillance, photographing and “staking out” of the Barbados Consulate in Miami. Further, the suggestion that John Knox and Jane Goddard be assigned the task of joining the stake-out for the purposes of identifying Bajans who visit Barbados’ Miami Consulate. BU has provided this evidence with the expectation that the Government of Barbados present it to the US State Department and to the Governor of Florida with an official diplomatic protest.
- The staking out of the new prison at Dodds and the surveillance and photographing thereof and of its suppliers, including listing their corporate names. This is a clear breach of Barbados’ own prison security.
All of it paid for and sanctioned by benefactor Peter Andrew Allard and the Knox family. These are the same people who have used valuable court time by laying claim they have been threatened. Despite it all Barbadians are known to be law-abiding and peaceful nation and, even under such extreme provocation, we will protect their legal rights, persons and properties as if they were our own and urge others to do the same. So that any violence done to them, real or mental – or imagined – or MANUFACTURED, will be self-inflicted.
Turning to the matter of Minister Denis Lowe, another Peter Allard former associate. Here is an update promised in an earlier blog:
Submitted by Kammie Holder
Having heard the comments during yesterday’s debate made by you, Senator McClean (it is unlikely that this land would be used for agriculture) and Senator Ince (these two parcels are not viable agricultural land) regarding the Brighton land being acquired by government, I feel obliged to clarify the matter, since in my opinion, the impression has been given that I have presented inaccurate information.
These two plots of land being acquired are portions of fields that have been in agriculture for centuries. I have attached photographs of the two fields where the strips are being acquired.
For your further information, Brighton was initially approached regarding the acquisition of part of a field near the plantation yard which was irrigable and used for vegetable production. Bearing in mind government’s thrust to produce more food, Brighton lodged an objection which was accepted, and government then requested these two plots, which the plantation agreed to, albeit under duresse. Brighton, in my opinion, is one of the best (if not the best)managed and most efficient producers of sugarcane and vegetables in the island.
Yet another application has been sent to the Chief Town Planner for a change of use to land previously used to support agriculture. BU family member Nostradamus has been persistent in drawing to the attention of the BU family that land in excess of 24.7 acres require that an environmental impact assessment be done. This time it is the Northridge Development Company Limited who has submitted an application to convert the alleged cash trap Pickering Plantation. The area is expected to be transformed into a sprawling development over nine years.
Looks like Ambassador Kellman is getting his wish to convert St. Lucy into a hustling second city IF the Town Planner approves the application.
If our understanding is correct the Pickering Plantation represents 233 acres of which 180 is designated agriculture and the remainder industrial. We are writing subject to correction but the geography of the area straddles Broomfield and Spring Hall.
Submitted by makiala iyoka ashanti
With much pain and desperation to do something about it, I read of the plight of the descendants of slaves who most likely were of the same clan who laboured and slaved without pay to built Maxwell Plantation fortune that has been sold to foreigners namely Chinese, with the results of the slaves descendants being ordered off the land by the court. The article printed in this Friday 5th June Nation News went on to state that a two floored house half half way done would be demolished and all the Bajan lady labour wasted with no mention of compensation or alternative provision.
Also other locals would no longer have backyards and the young carer of the 88 year old land owner cut off from her. WHERE IS THE HUMAN RIGHTS? It is a burning shame that just a few years after Owen Arthur while in England for the Slavery Bicentenary made a bold statement to the British Government to ‘Give back something to the slaves children’ that right in our faces in Barbados a ex slave plantation has sold land passed down from a generation of slaves to the present generation.
I am appealing to political activists like the people of the People Democratic Congress, The People Empowerment Party and Human Rights Lawyers and Pan Africanist as well as the Barbados Justice Committee to support these victims of recolonization by researching and offering them advice to appeal against the court order to buy time for proper legal research and seek out if they can be further representation. I see the defendant is quite young and may be unaware of other legal defences he may be able to depend on, for example, what about prescribed rights to the land where as one can claim these rights after living on land and not being charged rent for a given time, or what about the Government Tenantry Act whereby the government was to subscribe to the reduced cost of plantation land that slaves descendants lived on for generations. New political parties like the two new ones that contested the last general election,( since it seem that both sides of government have taken turns in selling us out to the Chinese and all ) I am calling on you to offer your support to these victims, who, most of the time have to surrender without the right legal advice not aware of their rights and suffocated by excess legal fees.
Posted as a comment by John
Robert Goddard in his article published in 2001 in Agricultural History figures it was an imbalance between factory and field which set the stage for the collapse of the Sugar Industry. He reckons if I understand it right that there were two factors which were the origin of this imbalance:
One factor “intrinsic” to the industry was the change in the industry’s leadership from factory-owners/planters to purely planters.”
The other factor was a pattern of “questionable” land use decisions taken by government agencies which alienated arable land in unpredictable ways, making it impossible for the industry’s leadership to match factory capacity to field supply.
“In one striking case the two came together when the building contractor, C.O. Williams, became simultaneously the island’s largest landowner and an aggressive advocate of non-sugar agriculture”
“Williams played a paradoxical role during this time. Single headedly he stripped the factory division of 50,000 tonnes (metric tons) of cane supply while charged with guiding the industry as a member of the BSIL board.”
The article goes further:
In a previous blog BU echoed the concern of many Barbadians regarding Town Planning approval given to several entities to build in St. Davids Christ Church, specifically on the Staple Grove Plantation lands. We should point out that approvals for projects in St. Davids straddle both the BLP and DLP governments. Barbadians whether old or young know this area to be a rich agricultural belt which adjoins the St. George Valley, another rich agricultural area. Of further concern are the several applications for housing development scattered across Barbados.
BU has no issue with People’s Cathedral building a 42 million dollar facility in St. Davids. From all reports the Holmes William’s operation has been a model citizen. We may have a concern based on reports in the local media the haste with which he threatened to shut the school operation down because his teachers threatened to join the union…
The big concern of many Barbadians centres on the lack of an orderly development of our land resource. Barbadians can easily cite the cluttered West Coast which has crowed out all but a few windows to the sea. In recent weeks the local media seems to have awaken from its long slumber to alert Barbadians to the rapidly disappearing Mullins Beach, no doubt caused by the tampering of our coastline by developer after developer. Local reports continue to point to other beach areas rapidly losing the battle to the sea. The previous government justified the unbridled development of our West Coast to the need to encourage foreign direct investment operating on the economic concept that land should always be allowed to fetch its highest economic value. There we are!
Submitted by HRW
I returned Barbados for a short visit in Feb,09 and was able walk the beach behind the Proposed Four Seasons Hotel. I was really annoyed to see the type of construction that was taking place. Not only the townhouse/villas being built almost to the high water mark but the Lime Stone almost to the Cave Hill Roundabout had been removed. I could not believe the Powers That Be allowed that type of earth movement to take place especially since the problem with the cave at Britton’s Hill. I immediately thought some day the water coming off the Hill will eventually wash the buildings away.
I discussed the situation with others and told them the project was too big, that in this market the investors will pull out. It has come to pass, unfortunately the the Lime Stone supporting the area/road cannot be replaced. Paradise Beach Hotel was a nice hotel.
Why was building of such an enormous development in that area approved?
Over the years a few Barbadian fat cats have been known to have invested in timeshares in the United States. Some have purchased condominiums and other properties. Some people say that some of our Barbadian merchants have been able to setup a web of companies over the years to manage their operations, the result, a redirecting of funds which should be legally destine for Barbados but remain in offshore accounts.
The rise of an affluent and credit worthy middleclass in Barbados in the last fifteen to twenty years has seen an increase in investments over seas by ordinary Barbadians. We suspect that the Central Bank of Barbados maybe alarm at the significant offshore holdings of Barbadians if it were possible to check or is it?
The current economic climate in the United States and the collapsed housing market according to local media reports has attracted the attention of Barbadians investors. A recent report in the Nation newspaper has highlighted high interest in acquiring real estate in Florida, some Barbadians have already signed on the dotted line.
Here is what BU family member Tony Hall has to say on this recent development:
I think Bajans should pay attention to the below article and tread carefully before a decision is made. This reminds me of a company called General Development Corporation, based at the time in Florida which many Bajans and West Indians in the USA fell prey to in the 80s and 90s.The land was very cheap but the developers never told the purchasers that utility lines for connection to gas, water and electricity were far from the land and that these three major utilities combined would cost as much as the value of the land to install.
Let us see if some worthwhile comments can be elicited.
The BU household has nothing against middleclass Barbadians investing to secure their financial future but they should try to do so from an informed position. The little we know about the Florida real estate market suggests that although land can currently be purchased at bargain prices it is extremely costly to build along with the several other legal requirements which makes home ownership in the United States a tricky undertaking.
It continues to amaze the BU household why politicians feel that they can ignore the PEOPLE and get away with it. But we know the answer, don’t we? Barbadians have long ago repatriated their dreams and aspirations to the politician. In the past this passive approach by Barbadians was regarded as a characteristic to be admired, but that was in the day when we had grassroots politicians in abundance who could be entrusted with the PEOPLE’s business.
It is interesting to read about the latest controversy in Caribbean government. In summary, it has been reported that on July 07, 2008, one day before general elections were held, the former Grenada government signed a deal worth 35 million dollars with Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton. Of course Hamilton is the much heralded Black Formula 1 driver whose grandfather is Grenadian. The Grenada Grand Beach Resort is located on this prime beachfront property in question. “The deal is controversial in part because Grenada’s government owns nearly all beachfront land and leases it to developers for an annual fee. Some local journalists complained that taxpayers received no payment for transfer of the land.” – (excerpt from the Canadian report)
Grenada seems to have gotten its coastal land use policy right!
The Financial Times (FT) published an interesting article yesterday (20 September 2008) about the development of our West Coast. The BU family has been a great advocate of questioning the high-octane development occurring on the West Coast of Barbados. Of concern to many is the fact that despite a change in government our coastal development policy appears to be unchanged. While we understand the importance of tourism and an investor friendly environment, the roller-coaster abandon with which coastal development is being undertaken even under the new government continues to be of concerned.
We had hoped that the Physical Development Plan for Barbados would have taken top priority before firm commitment was given to several projects to disrupt our coastline by the Thompson government. The fickle nature of tourism, more so in the current global economic environment makes decisions to develop our precious coastline a serious business. We have listed six quotes from the article which caught our interest from the FT article: What do you think?
BU wishes to thank a family member for the FT article.
We felt the comment by BU family member Ian Walcott was important enough to be highlighted – David
The West Coast Model of Development is problematic for a number of reasons. It shows up the inherent weaknesses of a small island open economy where land as a tradable good is indeed very scarce. In many instances, the rapid real estate exploitation (because that vulgarity is not development) of the West Coast occurred because of the following:
- Phenomenal economic growth in the UK over the last 10 yrs; The search for real estate investment opportunities and getaway vacation homes in warmer climates (Barbados, Dominican Republic, Tobago, Spain, Portugal, North Africa);
- The creation of new wealth sectors fueled by dramatic growth in the IT sector, telecommunications, banking. This created new wealth for speculators, accountants and lawyers in the City (London);
- A favorable exchange rate of the British pound against the US dollar to which our currency remains pegged (though we’ve be advised differently).
We must remember that we are an open economy that respects the right to ownership… Continue reading
Last month BU highlighted the story of the action which the Spanish government is taking to protect its coastline, The Costa Del Sol. It was reported that the Spanish government has taken the surprising decision to confiscate and demolish luxury homes built within 550 yards of the beach. Unlike Barbados where many of the properties built on our coastline have been approved by the Town Planning department, the properties in Spain were adjudged to have been constructed illegally.
What Barbadians should observe by the action of the Spanish government is the fearless decision making they are prepared to take to protect their coastline. There is a growing number of concerned Barbadians who have become alarmed at the disappearance of many of the windows to the sea to our West coast, and to a lesser extent the South coast of Barbados. Thank God our East Coast appears up to now to have escaped the destruction! The lack of will shown by the last government to protect the ‘character’ of our little, tropical, exotic island paradise must be viewed as a violation of the trust of Barbadians,both current and future.
GUYANA’S OFFER to Barbadians and other nationals of the Caribbean Community for agriculture lands leased merely at BDS$10 per acre over a long period of years, has drawn sharply conflicting positions from spokespersons for the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the Opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Not surprisingly, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Mia Mottley, who disclosed the offer following her recent visit to Guyana for the Trade and Investment Exposition (GUYEXPO), welcomed the gesture when she spoke of the potentials for both countries’ agricultural and economic development.
Barbados Labour Party position on the Guyana Land Offer
In contrast, the DLP’s candidate for St Michael West, James Paul, was dismissive. He deemed it “nonsensical” and “ridiculous”, and linked the offer to a claimed attempt by the Owen Arthur administration to divert Barbadians’ attention from problems of land acquisition at home with hopes of securing farmlands in Guyana. To follow current public discussions from political platforms, a realistic land policy, embracing issues of ownership, location and usage in the context of integrated agricultural, economic and social development, promise to be one of the major areas of focus for the coming general election. It is not clear whether the DLP’s Paul was reflecting the party’s thinking, or aspects of any related policy, or speaking on his own behalf. In the report published in THE NATION of October 9, Paul said his comments were to be considered in the context of his position as “executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS)”.
Democratic Labour Party position on the Guyana Land Offer
Source: Nation Newspaper
There is a saying, “when something looks too good to be true it probably is so”. The offer made to Barbadians to lease agriculture at $10.00 per acre in Guyana generated hot discussion last month in Barbados. Mia Mottley was the chosen Minister elected to deliver the good news to the nation. We got the impression that she believed Barbadians would have been leaving by the thousands the next day. The decision, we know, fits the government’s vision of a well functioning Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). So what went wrong with this offer? Why have Barbadians been lukewarm to the offer? The finite land space of Barbados, which is 166 square miles, and the skyrocketing price of land should have made this an attractive offer.
A report published in the Guyana Stabroek News paper provides a clue to what many Barbadians must have suspected. The article headlined “Interior agri blighted by transport, pest problems” details a litany of woes being suffered by farmers tilling the soil which span concerns about transportation, markets, pests and climate change negatively impacting their ability to be farmers. Surprisingly, when Guyana Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud visited the two farming areas yesterday (17 October 2007), he requested the farmers to be realistic by recognizing that his ministry had limited resources to respond adequately to all the concerns raised.
Here are two concerns which Guyanese farmers expressed yesterday when the Minister toured the area:
Hannah Williams from Micobie stated that acoushi ants were a major problem resulting in loss of crops and requested seeds.
In the mountainous region, the availability of water was cited as a problem too with one farmer stating that there; they depend on the rainy season. “We don’t want chemicals, we want water”, the man said. Climate change was also on the minds of those present with Bell asserting that “now we can’t even predict the weather” adding that when persons expected rainy weather, it was dry and vice versa.
It is confusing to BU how Guyana could have made this offer to Barbadians and the local Guyanese farmers are experiencing so many problems. What are we missing here? Can anyone fill in the gap? We know that we are missing something!
A very topical issue in Barbados in recent years has been whether Barbados needs to develop a land use policy. Very closely associated with this issue is the concern some Barbadians have shown about the character of foreign investment coming into the country, but more importantly the ease with which foreign investors have acquired land in Barbados. The main argument against the current trend is that Barbados is an island of 166 square miles and to sell significant portions of land to non Barbadians is a policy which has led to inflated land prices and will lead to social fall-out in the not too distant future as Barbadians wake-up to the realization that owing land isn’t a reality any longer. Some may say that Barbados with no significant natural resources cannot afford to be “picky” about where the foreign investment comes from and more importantly how does the government satisfy the legitimate concerns of Barbadians?
We do not envy government on this one!
Interested in Barbados Hotel Sector
Arab News – 21/08/2007
(MENAFN – Arab News) RIYADH, 21 August 2007 – Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), visited Bridgetown, capital of Barbados, on Aug. 11, 2007, and met with the Acting Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. Bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Barbados, including a number of social and economic issues between the two countries were discussed during the meeting. Mottley commended Alwaleed on his humanitarian efforts and his role in helping economic development around the world.Alwaleed also held meeting with Tourism Minister Noel Lynch which revolved around investment opportunities in the tourism sector in Barbados.
The Saudi prince’s current investments in Barbados are in the hotel sector through Fairmont Royal Pavilion resort, which has been described as “The Jewel in the Crown of Barbados” and Four Seasons hotel that is under construction and expected to open in three years.
Situated just east of the Caribbean Sea, Barbados is an independent island nation in the western Atlantic Ocean and lies in the southern Caribbean region. The economy of Barbados had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but in recent years it has diversified into the manufacturing and tourism sectors.
Source: Menafn.com and a BU Friend
How many Barbadians are aware that the Saudi Arabians have investments in the Fairmont Royal Pavillion and Four Seasons Project in Barbados? A recent meeting with Prince Alwaleed held in Barbados with Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Minister of Tourism Barney Lynch suggests that the Barbados government is courting this most unlikely source of foreign investment. We must take our hat off to Prime Minister Arthur, he is demonstrating that he is not afraid to play in the big leagues!
Now to our main story!
Date August 04, 2007
Barbados Farms In Spotlight
by Carmel Haynes
THE WILLIAMS BROTHERS, Sir Charles and Ralph “Bizzy”, are leading a takeover bid for Barbados’ single largest agricultural land-owning entity. They revealed yesterday at a Press conference at Hilton Barbados that they were seeking to transform the “rotting plum” that was Barbados Farms Ltd. into a profitable entity. Pointing out that the publicly owned agricultural body lost $873 824 last year, the Williamses promised to bring their experience to bear on transforming Barbados Farms in the same way they had improved the agricultural efficiency of Foursquare Estates Ltd. by 84 per cent since taking that entity over in 1997/1998.
It seems to BU that as General Elections draw closer, issues are being raised which appear to be consuming national interest. Whether it is the BS&T merger, the 50 Chinese who were found to be working illegally but given retroactive permission to remain in Barbados, or the latest issue of the Williams brothers Bizzy and Sir Charles’ attempt to take over Barbados Farms Ltd. The enormity of the transaction can be gauged after the realization that the total land area controlled by Barbados Farms is 4000 acres; in the context of Barbados we are talking 6.25 square miles. To assess the implication for Barbados of this transaction, we have to factor the lands already owned by Sir Cow which is estimated to be the equivalent to St. Philip and St. John combined.
We need to argue this latest issue in a dispassionate manner as the situation allows.
“BU at the right time will name those Ministers in government who received lots in the Bakers Wood Development in St. Peter. Then there is Apple Grove Plantation which was sub-divided and sold to top Ministers at “rab land” price as well, located above Mount Stinkeroo with a panoramic view of the West Coast and the Sandy Lane Estate. BU is willing to bet that the Ministers know something that John Public does not. It is interesting to note that Apple Grove was sold by Bruce Bayley who is a Director in CGI along with David Shorey and Peter Harris”
The quote was taken from what is BU’s top post for May 2007. It seems that the issue of the large scale disposal of land to foreigners, along with the ease with which prominent persons including politicians are carving up the rock, continues to strike an emotional chord with Barbadians. BU takes the opportunity to ask readers to recall the transaction which took place with the sale of Bennets Plantation. BFP reported in great detail on the transaction which we all agree although not illegal can be viewed as unethical. The lack of a land use policy if the Barbadian electorate is lucky, could just raise its head as a national issue in the soon to be announced General Election.
The former Christie government made a similar mistake in the Bahamas recently and it now occupies the opposition bench. If Prime Minister Owen Arthur is as savvy as we know him to be, he would have taken careful note.
I agree with Sir Roy 100 per cent. Land would be a major factor,” he added.Lashley urged society not to forget the connection between land and identity. A sense of who you are is tied up in the ownership of land . . . . The majority who own land are not native Barbadians [who] are able to come [here] and enjoy prime real estate and the enormous benefits of society,” he stated. Lashley said many Barbadians were angry at tourists and foreigners who migrated here. And, he noted, Barbados was not taking this situation seriously.
It seems that every where one turns in Barbados the issue of the high cost of living is a topic for conversation. BU is sympathetic but accept that this is a consequence of living in a country which has a per capita income of over US$7,000.00 and presently enjoy a lifestyle which any developed country can be proud. The Economists of course continue to battle with the concept of how to equitably distribute wealth in the country. BU must admit that under a BLP administration for the last 14 years the country has enjoyed a level of economic prosperity which is the envy of other countries blessed with more resources than posited with Barbados.
Against all that has been written BU is very concerned at an escalating trend in Barbados which has seen the price of real estate increasing at an alarming rate. It is no secret that the average Barbadian whether at home or abroad measures success by the ability to purchase real estate at the earliest opportunity in working life. The purchase by the Barbadian epitomizes the degree to which success has been achieved and allows the Barbadian property owner to enjoy a level of respect and acceptance among his or her country men. The prevailing conditions which now see land in St. Lucy and St. Philip, which historically was comparatively cheaper than in the other parishes, is now being sold from $15.00 to $20.00 per square foot for residential property. What this translates to is that many of our Barbadians first at the lower stratum cannot afford to buy property, and secondly our burgeoning middle-class with earning power in the top 20% is also struggling to buy property for legacy purposes. The acquisition of real estate is a strategy of wealth creation which the Indians and Caucasians have used over the years to good effect, but it appears blacks will be stymied to do the same. The question must be asked how a country which is governed by a black directorate would implement policies that would seek to emasculate the black Barbadian.