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VG land distribution no election gimmick – Premier Smith

-said VG committee responsible for making selection of persons for land
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith is insisting that Government’s land distribution process is completely transparent and brushed off questions as to whether it is a political gimmick on the eve of elections in the territory. Photo: VINO
It was just over a year ago, April 13, 2014 when Ninth District Representative Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE had told Virgin Gordians that they should not be made to beg for land on the island. Photo: VINO/File
It was just over a year ago, April 13, 2014 when Ninth District Representative Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE had told Virgin Gordians that they should not be made to beg for land on the island. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith is insisting that Government’s land distribution process is completely transparent and brushed off questions as to whether it is a political gimmick on the eve of elections in the territory.

He was speaking at a press conference in the conference room of the Premier’s Office on Tuesday April 21, 2015.

“In 2013 we put together a committee of people from Virgin Gorda and they are the ones who made the selection. We did that so the process could be completely transparent,” he said, when asked whether the land distribution had anything to do with the upcoming elections.

He said ownership of lands by BVIslanders, especially young people has always been of interest to successive governments.

“For long, Government has played a role in making sure that lands were acquired by BVIslanders in Spooner's, Stevens Lands, and Nibbs Estate in Sea Cows Bay. My Government in following through with its commitment to the people, heard the concerns and loud cries of those in the Virgin Gorda community and in 2013 we immediately put a committee consisting of Virgin Gordians in place to address their concerns to embark on a land distribution scheme to subdivide three sites in North Sound, Virgin Gorda for residential and commercial purposes.

Requirements for land

Premier Smith noted that two of the sites, the Bond and Great Hill are to be subdivided for residential house lots while Bakers Bay has been earmarked for commercial purposes. “Our goal was to establish a transparent and prudent way of distributing the Crown lands in a fair and equitable way. Qualifying persons had to be resident of Virgin Gorda and should not have previously owned property,” he said.

He said the committee submitted a report to Cabinet recommending a list of persons for a grant of Crown land for residential and commercial purposes. He said too that the report consisted of covenants to be included in the residential subdivisions to ensure that the area presents some sort of uniformity and that the development on one property does not affect the value of existing or prospective property owners.

60 approved for land

“I am pleased to report that this Government has approved a total of 60 persons for phase one of this project: 35 persons for Phase one of Great Hill, 8 persons for the Phase one of Bakers Bay and 17 persons for Phase one of The Bond Subdivisions,” he said.

The Premier and Minister of Finance said development in these areas will be carried out in a phased approach and “we endeavour to carry out further subdivisions in the future.”

No begging for land

It was just over a year ago, April 13, 2014 when Ninth District Representative Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE had told Virgin Gordians that they should not be made to beg for land on the island.

He was at the time addressing residents at a community meeting in the North Sound area and was alluding to his recommendation that two persons sit on a Government committee to sort out issues surrounding Crown lands.

Hon O'Neal had said, "we are not begging for anything..." He said persons who have birthright on the island should be given the opportunity to benefit from Crown lands for housing and other development purposes as they may so wish.

He had also said it is not fair that outsiders come and get chunks of lands above locals and expressed his disgust about expatriates purchasing land in the territory and selling them out after they would have reaped massive benefits.

29 Responses to “VG land distribution no election gimmick – Premier Smith”

  • Concern 1 (23/04/2015, 08:20) Like (17) Dislike (10) Reply
    Who you all think you all fooling with this one not me for sure . You all can't see it is a change taking over this place.Even Anguillians made a change and come July we gonna do the same.
  • Valley man (23/04/2015, 09:10) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    I heard that the committee recommended more than 60 names for land and when I ask the committee members if they know who getting, they said they did not know that land was being distributed and had no idea if the names they recommended are the ones who got the land. The premier talking as if the committee knows what going on but it seems like they were kept in the dark....anyway it is a political year...
  • HMM VG (23/04/2015, 09:21) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    It is an election gimmick.....who are they trying to fool...lets here the price now!!!!!
  • VG Resident (23/04/2015, 09:29) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    We're very appreciated with the inisative brought forward with the distribution of lands in the district where the government is he'll bent on taking our territory out of the deep hold THANKS wish you all God Blessings
  • xxxxxxxx (23/04/2015, 09:29) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    So fool do you think smith will admit tis an election gimmick?
  • hmmmmmm (23/04/2015, 09:44) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Election gimic or not its a good move u people fight against everything And what uncle talking about expat come n get land do he have any idea the type of money they have to spend n still pay tax n non belonger license license while some of our locals rather sit n wait on momy n dady n waste money on big rides n clothing n flossing get real
  • VG (23/04/2015, 09:45) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    Lol.. Take the land an vote them out... We wise up now...
  • Virgin Gordian (23/04/2015, 10:04) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hon. Premier, I would like to ask a question Sir, can you tell us the residents of VG when and if those of us that got letters indicating that Cabinet approved for us to get a piece of land at Copper Mine will be receiving our piece of land? This year December will be 5 years since we received letters and to date we haven't heard anything. Thank you Sir, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    • Dulcina (23/04/2015, 10:54) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      Looking forward for what? He is damned if he do and damned if he don't. Maybe he has more important things to take care of for those who will be appreciative. He hand you a deed for some Copper Mine land now and more claws come out tearing him up. Perhaps a thank you for what he was instrumental in giving your neighbors followed by an inquiry about self would help. How long you waiting? Five years? You sure it is not centuies? Like 40 times 5years?
    • good (23/04/2015, 11:06) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      Seems you were fooled by an election gimmick by the last administration, nothing new. Who sent you the letter?
    • Common Sense (23/04/2015, 15:04) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      The letter you was given three days before election did not have a block or parcel #
      didnt you know that was a gimmick? If you dont know, he was right to take your vote
      for granted. You and Devon surly was born on the same moon.

      Check and see if these recent letters have block and parcel # and use your brains
      for once. Ralp obviously got you again. LOL
      • Check (24/04/2015, 07:58) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        this is not new. a letter is given to indicate that you are successful so a block and parcel number would not be on the first letter. there are steps that follow. before making comments find out what the process is.
  • STRONGHOLD! (23/04/2015, 10:09) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Everything is election gimmick for you people. Even if it is, just take what you get and give God thanks! Whatever the VIP did when they were in power wasn't election gimmick too? Why you don't just say something that can be used in the building of our country and stop the ignorance. LEH WE PUT DOWN OUR IGNORANCE AND TEK UP OUR INTELLIGENCE, AND LEH WE STOP THE FUSSIN' AND FIGHTIN' AND TEK CARE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL VIRGIN ISLANDS!
  • ooooo (23/04/2015, 10:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply


  • fat man (23/04/2015, 10:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    zan getting a big belly well sah
  • pete (23/04/2015, 11:10) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    with this distribution of land, is there any urban planning or restrictions in building or is it every man for himself?.
    This is one thing that needs work in the sustainable development of BVI, a master plan so impressions are maintained, and infrastructure is shared. Please no oversized hotel-wanna be, or mansions. Be sensitive to architectural context. we are losing historical identity, tradition and community. Look at Bermuda which has strict restrictions and maintains a tourist delight of architectural identity. just a thought.
  • born here (23/04/2015, 11:59) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply

    The Primier thinks people are stupid. Everyone know the land issue is an election gimmic. What happen to the three years past? Is this desperation? Who is running the show?

  • wize up (23/04/2015, 13:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    our people stands to gain from this; so why the fuss: question ( what was done by the last administration)..... talk that
  • NORTHSOUNDER (23/04/2015, 14:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    • wize up (23/04/2015, 22:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      nothsounder: did you speak with ralph(he ruled that area for a more than 15-years; as a matter of fact his team should have gotten the job done they had more time in elected office than NDP)
    • Woman (24/04/2015, 07:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Some people putting in for land and them aint qualified. Their income too low, them cant get a mortgage. What's wrong with this breed of cussing people? NDP do what you can do. If the people them stupid let them continue to take this country to a downfall by electing VIP.
  • Voters (23/04/2015, 14:32) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    land or no land NDP must go!!!
  • Forbidden Truth (23/04/2015, 14:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes it is. why wasnt it done two years ago, would have been more credible.
  • ASKING (23/04/2015, 15:01) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can I sell over government land which were given to me? I need an answer please people
  • @ Northsounder (23/04/2015, 15:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Try use you intellegence for once, if any was left behind
    since 40 year sillyness.
  • patient2doc (23/04/2015, 15:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Doc speak the truth, am I going to die? No, they will just place you in the morgue until. Of course this is an election gimmick!! How long can these guys continue to believe we are fools?
  • Hmm (28/04/2015, 17:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply


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