Charlestown, Nevis (March 16, 2007)
Nevisians will now be afforded government lands at cheaper rates. The disclosure was made at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly on Thursday March 15, 2007 by Housing and Lands Minister on Nevis the Hon. Robelto Hector.
” I am happy to report in this House and to the nation, that the land sale policy as approved by the Board of Directors of the Nevis Land and Housing Corporation is that where you are a first time buyer in Nugent’s Village, we would offer you land at EC$3.50 per square foot. If you are a land owner taking a second bite at the cherry, we are still able to accommodate you but we are not using the first come first serve attitude. You can purchase land at EC$4.25 per square foot, which is a bit higher than the man who is a first time owner,” he said.
According to the Minister, land was also being offered at Nugent’s Heights to first time buyers at EC$6.00 per square foot and existing land owners at EC$6.50. Regarding the commercial lots, once a purchaser was an established business owner, land prices would be set at EC$8.00 per square foot but would be offered to young upcoming entrepreneurs for EC$7.00.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Hector spoke to a number of procedures put in place to guard against possible fraudulent purchases.”We [Corporation] have realized that we would have problems and so we have created a certificate where an oath would be taken by first time landowners in which you [purchaser] are going to indicate to us at the Corporation that you are a first time landowner. We would then do a search in the Registry to make sure that this is so. This search of course will take time and as such it would involve a small fee.
We are also going to have a worker within the Land Development Corporation feeder as it is called, to certify that they did the search and it indicated that you were not a landowner in Nevis, and as such, would benefit from the lower price,” Mr. Hector explained.
Speaking on lands to the commercial lots in the same area, the Minister noted that government would like to see activity in quick time and therefore included a conveyance to facilitate quick development in that area. If the landowner did not comply with the specified timeframe, the Land and Housing Corporation would have the option of reclaim the land once development was not forthcoming. He said the Corporation did not want to encourage speculation neither would it seek to attract Speculators.
Mr. Hector also took the opportunity to make a general comment on lands and disclosed that the new Administration had taken the position that government lands would not be sold to non-Nevisians in areas that have been already oversubscribed by locals. The policy he explained was to ensure that Nevisians would take priority, a demonstration of the government’s commitment for the development for all the people of Nevis.
Meantime, the Minister of Lands reported on another fulfilled campaign promise and pointed to successful negotiations which cleared the way for government’s acquisition of lands earmarked to expand existing housing areas.
“We bought five acres of land from a private person in Bath Village so that we can expand housing. In Hamilton, we have secured a two acre lot to be used to do some expansion. We have also secured a small area in Stoney Grove purchased by the Corporation in order for us to stick and live by our mandate of housing our little nation,” he said and added that discussions and negotiations had been held with landowners in Cox Village, another area which should be expanded.