The owners of some 150 parcels of land and/or houses at Argyle are yet to be paid for their property acquired more than six years ago for the construction of the Argyle International Airport.

This information was revealed in Parliament this month, as Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves responded to a question from Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace about how many landowners at the Argyle airport site are yet to be compensated for their land and how much money is owed to such persons.

The EC$700 million international airport, the nation’s first, is expected to be “substantially complete” by Wednesday — Dec. 31, 2014 — and operational by mid-2015.

Gonsalves said 143 built properties (houses) were purchased and demolished and 452 vacant parcels of land were acquired by the state-owned International Airport Development Company (IADC).

The total estimated cost of the 143 built properties was EC$61.8 million, and the total estimated cost of the 452 parcels of land was EC$76.5 million, taking the total cost of acquiring the site to EC$138.3 million.

Of the 143 built properties, 139 homeowners were paid EC$60.4 million, but four owners of built property are to be paid EC$1.5 million

“These property owners will — because this government is not a bandit — … be paid when various matters relating to the particular situations in each case are resolved,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.

He said the process of negotiation and payment for these land parcels are continuing.

This year, the IADC paid EC$4.6 million to 22 landowners, and has paid a total of approximately EC$42 million to the owners of 259 parcels of land, Gonsalves said.

During 2014, 43 landowners negotiated and arrived at final settlement prices with the Chief Surveyor for their acquired land parcels.

The negotiated amount for these 43 landowners is approximately EC$16 million and will be paid in the first half of 2015, Gonsalves said.

He said there are 44 land parcels for which landowners have already submitted deeds to show ownership of the lands.

Negotiations with these landowners are pending and are likely to be concluded during 2015.

These additional 44 parcels are estimated to cost EC$6.4 million.

“So, in summary, the IADC is committed to pay 22.4 million for 87 parcels. Forty-three of these parcels have a negotiated total price of 16 million dollars, which I just indicated, while the other 44 parcels, though we are yet to arrive at a final settlement through the negotiations, while the chief Surveyor is still doing this, we estimate that this will cost about 6.4 million dollars,” Gonsalves told Parliament.

He, however, said there are 106 parcels of land for which the owners are yet to submit deeds to the IADC to evidence ownership.

“We are putting aside roughly 12 million dollars to cover those 106 parcels, which is the estimated cost, when, of course, the persons provide the evidence and the documentation to complete the legal transaction.

“And these are done, as always, through the office of the Chief Surveyor and with the advice of the Honourable Attorney General,” Gonsalves said.

“Mr. Speaker, I want to say this: We realise that this process is a time-consuming one and we have had to proceed by way of acquisition because if we had to proceed by way of negotiation and conclusion until everybody has sorted out all their legal difficulties, we wouldn’t have been able to get the work done at the airport,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves said his government will pay interest of 5 per cent per annum to property owners who are yet to be paid.

7 replies on “Gov’t yet to pay owners of 150 parcels of land acquired at Argyle”

  1. Not possible at all for the airport to start operating mid 2015 and for it to complete in three to four days time ,they must stop pushing the fool’s a little bit further and all this is political spin zone Mr comrad.

  2. That 150 will increase in a few weeks because of that broken road. Land owners who thought they got away will be in for a shock with letters of acquisition for a public purpose being delivered to them, if you don’t have a deed start crying, don’t look for any monies. Remember land owners were told that “we don’t have to negotiate, we just have to put it in the Gazette”, but i don’t think that this would apply to the “inside trader’s” […] company’s lands. PM Gonsalves will not be going through no Akers, Yambou or Belmont on one lane roads to get to and from any of those new family houses, so while Belmont will remain that way for years with a by-pass, Argyle will be a priority with a new road, not no by-pass.

  3. The ULP Marxist led Government are bandits. In no other country in the world woiuld they have taken people land 6/7 years ago and still not have paid them, its unconstitutional, but they specialize in unconstitutional actions and behaviour. Remember Gonsalves signed a contract with the teachers Union in 2004 later to admit that he knew when signing it was unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable.

    Can you believe that he said “Mr. Speaker, I want to say this: We realise that this process is a time-consuming one and we have had to proceed by way of acquisition because if we had to proceed by way of negotiation and conclusion until everybody has sorted out all their legal difficulties, we wouldn’t have been able to get the work done at the airport,” Gonsalves said.

    What an admission, can you believe that sooner than pay for the land they just went ahead and spent money due to the land owners on building the airport. If it was a private firm and not the Marxist led ULP government that did such a thing, that firm would be sued for fraud.

    Its a disgrace.

  4. It is totally false to imply that you need a deed to buy and sell land in SVG.

    Conversely, many properties that are sold with a legal deed in place later have the transaction overturned after it is discovered that the deed was fraudulently obtained.

    That an experienced lawyer like the PM seems to be suggesting otherwise is very troubling.

  5. Something tells me that there is a lot about this that we are not being told.
    I would naturally jump to the defense of the little man but in this case, I sense that there is something strange here.
    What have the land “owners” done about this?
    There appear to be sufficient numbers to mount a class action case or at least to mount a sizeable demonstration.
    This may have happened but I just don’t know.
    I have been “privileged” to be in the company of people with an alternative source of knowledge and I can tell you that 1 + 1 does not always equal 11

    1. DFP the problem is that people are frightened that if they rock the boat, if they demand payment that they and their family will experience the usual spite, malice and pure hatred that they have come to expect, and they will never be paid.

      People in SVG have been converted to a race of Cowards by this Marxist regime, they are terrified of the PM, . They are frightened for their children’s education, they frightened of their own shadows. This man has got people running scared. People are even frightened to talk about him in case someone reports them to the local ULP representative, then the spite malice and hatred will really begin.

      Gonsalves said his government are not bandits, but I declare that yes they are.

      Whilst all this is going on all you lot in the Diaspora are still supporting Gonsalves, you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

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