CH&PA facing challenges in repossessing lands from private developers

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By Bibi Khatoon

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA), Lelon Saul said while the agency has made some headway in the repossession of lands from private developers, there are some cases where the contracts were not clear, thus posing problems.

“We continue to engage some of the private developers. In some cases, the agreements of sale, some of them were not robust. As a result, it enables some of the developers to get off in cases where they were non-compliant. We find it difficult to enforce the rules, we find it difficult to move against them to repossess the lands,” the CEO told media operatives and other personnel at a press conference hosted at the Herdmanston Lodge on Thursday, January 04, 2018.

According to Saul, there are other instances where the agency feels it has strong cases and is moving against some of the developers. Some of the matters are currently in court and Saul said: “we trust that the law will find favour with us that we will able to repossess those lands.”

The CEO did not disclose the name of the developers that it has strong cases against but noted that the lands are mainly located on the East Bank of Demerara, which has been lying idle for years.

The Government in 2017 said it was moving to repossess hundreds of acres of prime lands which were issued under the previous administration to make lands available for its housing development programmes.

There are other instances where it was found that many of the developers had sub-divided and sold off the lands as house lots at prices 10 times more than what they would have paid for them.

A total of 11 private developers were given acres of lands from Peter’s Hall to Providence as early as 2011 and two more were allowed swaths of land in the Diamond and Golden Grove areas, according to reports.

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