Government to compulsorily acquire lands for Booby Alley development

The government is set to compulsorily acquire three acres of land to start the Booby Alley development.

Melford Nicholas, the information minister, said this week that the Cabinet approved a submission made by Gaston Browne, the prime minister and parliamentary representative of the area.

“There has to be an acquisition of these properties, clearly there is going to be a need for consultation. Cabinet did approve the Crown moving towards the acquisition; that has to be the first step in order for the lots to be rebuilt so that adequate and affordable social housing can be built,” he said.

Nicholas said the new housing initiative would seek to address the security, health and social challenges that plague the area.

The information minister added that the Bishopgate Street area which falls in his constituency has also been identified for such a housing project.

“As a pilot project I think the Booby Alley project will represent the intent of the government to continue with its housing programme and this will be another project within that programme. We have extended the housing programme so that persons who own their own land can have us build their model houses on their lands,” he added.

Nicholas added that the government is cognisant of the overcrowding at the current housing stock which has preceded several generations. He noted that the houses in the community are situated close to one another and should a fire occur, it could be catastrophic.

He noted that the prime minister accepts that there will be some initial objection, however, the government should be able to convince more people to buy into the division when the development comes on stream.

“It was felt that the state had to make an intervention. The prime minister did say that some initial resistance is expected, but through a process of consultation he [expects] to sell the programme to the persons in the area who [will be] affected,” he added.  

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