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Not For Sale: No More Private Islands

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Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE government will stop selling crown cays for private purposes, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced during his mid-budget communication yesterday.

As minister responsible for land, the revelation came as he comprehensively addressed his administration’s land policy.

Among other things, he said the government “will preserve the seabed for the crown, approving only leases of it.”

He said the government will “retain for the crown a crown reserve between ocean/sea, front/inland lake property, granted for private development, where un-alientated crown land exists at the seashore, to preserve windows to the sea and open green and beach front spaces for the enjoyment of the public.”

He said the government will also “regularise long-term occupation of crown land developed or cultivated by individual Bahamians and/or families at concessionary rates” and “make crown land available to Bahamian nationals for residential, commercial and touristic development, particularly in the Family Islands.”

Dr Minnis said a new Land Reform Unit will be established to “examine, organise and monitor activities.” 

He also said the government will seek to return land acquired that has not been used to claimants who the Office of the Attorney General determine has “clear and marketable titles”.

He said: “According to the records of the Land Unit at the commencement of the 2017/18 fiscal period, it was estimated that an excess of $6.7 million dollars was owed as a result of compulsory land acquisition for the purpose of road improvements for various corridors. The estimated figures were as a result of land acquired as far back as 2011. However, it should be noted that in an effort to ascertain a better scope of money, owed for land acquisitions nationwide, a further investigation of all records is necessary given the myriad matters pending. It is proposed that in view of the inordinate amount of time, elapsed from the date of some of the earliest compulsory acquisitions that, unused parcels acquired by the government, are returned to affected individuals.” 

Comments

John 3 years, 7 months ago

The best news in a long while.

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John 3 years, 7 months ago

Then no more private ports for cruise ships unless fully staffed by Bahamians, there is access to the mainland and local shopping and attractions. There is only one Bahamas and when tourists visit Bahamians must benefit.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

We are finally seeing a sense of responsibility from the Government towards our Crown assets. In the Family Islands, families own many private islands and cays ....... Will the Government stop these families from selling their family jewels.

But the Government needs to reform our antiquated land ownership policies ..... Crown Land, family land, generation property, etc.

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 7 months ago

Never mind doc. It is just talk. CHEAP TALK.

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Socrates 3 years, 7 months ago

i hope when they start dishing out crown land to bahamians, they put a 'no sale' provision in the document. too many folks got crown land just to resell at a prince's sum. remember Exuma and the Lands and Survey man?

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

Yep ....... Former Director - Tex Turnquest ......... and why is it that the PM holds the Crown Land close to his chest????? ........ Why can't the people in Inagua get Crown Land that just needs to be surveyed and deeded????

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Ma Comrades, First you must have reason trust your government's credibility - before you can begin believe anything they promise. Regardless, PM made no mention returning ALL beaches back for the public and tourists enjoyment, nor blocking sale /lease islands by locals to foreigners - or if your island is caught fronting some foreigner - it will be forfeited over to the people. What about the $1.5 Billion in lands, grants and concessions extended to Baha Mar and The Point?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 7 months ago

It didn't take Minnis long to start putting his hands in the Crown Land Cookie Jar for the benefit of his cronies. Minnis is quickly becoming a clone of Christie, and that certainly doesn't portend well for most Bahamians.

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

Did we asked yinna political cronies them to speak for us?

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sealice 3 years, 7 months ago

really this is cheap talk like BREA gonna let anyone change their laws.....

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Dawes 3 years, 7 months ago

How many crown land cays are left? As i assume they will not be stopping the sale of private islands which i guess would be a large part of our cays. The above sounds good on paper, but it won't be long until someone comes along with a deal that can't be refused and we will be told the sale is a one off. Or they will lease it for 99 years at a peppercorn a year.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

Just watch AWE and HGTV ....... The white foreign people make a killing selling our private islands and boasting about it on these TV stations ........ It is also facilitated by our own real estate companies as well.

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ashley14 3 years, 7 months ago

Good News! Would someone adopt me. Lol Just kidding. I want to come back and stay.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Ma Comrades, the natives we islands traveled the globe and received by all peoples as being proud and gentle islanders from the Caribbean's Jewel crown colony. What did WE allow them Independence do us?

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licks2 3 years, 6 months ago

Yall see. . .this dude is a change-agent. . .all the news papers are saying that the economy is turning around. . .doc will leave yinna tails in the dust. . .I gern ta get me one piece of land too!!

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TalRussell 3 years, 6 months ago

Ma Comrade, but for projects left under way that were determined too bad touch, abused and ignored by the PLP - Minnis wouldn't had damn think Fuc#Up.... The nation does owe Loretta a apology statue in her image be erected Rawson Square... right alongside her Grandpa Milo. Soon Papa Hubert will orchestrate rebirth former member Long Island - then both going return Freetown constituency, back Montagu.
I see these things other peoples don't.

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