Crackdown on unlawful use of land
Government is cracking down on people who put vehicles for sale, advertising materials, equipment and other structures on state land without permission, as the practice is getting out of control.
Chief Property Manager at the Ministry of Housing, Niki Smith, has advised those in breach to remove their property immediately, warning that failure to comply will result in those unauthorized structures being removed.
He said the increasing number of illegal structures has become problematic, with some of them becoming a distraction to motorists and obstructive to pedestrians.
“Previously, permission to vend along the highways was granted by the Ministry of Transport and Works. That ministry no longer issues permissions so persons set up without reference to any authority – this unregulated vending from Crown lands is now a problem,” he said.
“Persons setting up on land without permission can acquire certain rights [legal and perceived] to that land, and the ministry has to guard against such as it may frustrate Government’s ability to provide improved infrastructure for the entire population.
“In addition, the Auditor General has recently produced a special audit on squatting which identifies areas for revenue collection that are being missed as persons are using Crown land free of cost,” the Housing official added.
Smith urged persons to recognise that all land in Barbados has an owner and, therefore, “entering onto such lands interferes with ownership rights and is a trespass to property”. (DP/BGIS)