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No foreigner can simply take our land – Legislator

BVI News Online - Thursday, July 25th, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Minister of Natural Resources Dr. Kedrick Pickering has admitted that the purchase of local property by foreigners can be a long drawn-out process.

Some potential land owners, over the years, have lamented the length of time and other challenges associated with the acquisition of land here in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

“No one from outside of the BVI can come into this country and just own property… It has to go through a long drawn out process,” Dr. Pickering declared yesterday during a re-dedication ceremony for The Stickett in Long Look.

He also stated that the process can be a double-edged sword, meaning that it can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences.

“The process is a double-edged sword… It can hinder progress but – at the same time – it gives elected officials an opportunity to be able to have a say of not only who can own property in the country, but how that property can be developed and what it can be used for.”

Dr. Pickering noted that some persons today think the Non-Belonger Land Holding Act, which governs the sale of property here in the BVI, is one of the best things that have happened in the territory.

He lauded former legislators, including Leslie Malone, for their contribution to the Act.

He also acknowledged that elected representatives have built on the work of their predecessors, adding that they “now have that opportunity to help control the sale of land and the development of our country”.

Dr. Pickering said it was through the hard work of previous law makers that properties in Long Look and other parts of the BVI were not sold to foreigners.

He also spoke highly of the work done in the 1960’s by the late community leader Moses Stevens as well as former legislator T.B. Lettsome.

The minister said they helped to establish the Long Look Lands Commission in order to ensure that direct descendants of slaves who occupied lands in the immediate area could have obtained the necessary titles.

He stated that, as a result of the initiative, all properties in the immediate area of Long Look were eventually handed over to the persons who were qualified.

“None of the land that is left now can be given out, and the Long Look Lands Commission has been disbanded officially because its work is completed,” Dr. Pickering said.

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13 Comments

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  1. vex
    July 25, 2013
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    When it come to festival yall want everyone to support and boost the economy but alwsys bashing outsides cause we black it have some white people coming and buying land like crazy aka green banks oneday tortolan will be sorry

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  2. Albion
    July 25, 2013
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    It is a two edged sword though. Saying that foreigners cannot just buy land, also means that locals cannot just *sell* the land to anyone, which means that the value land overall in the BVI is reduced because the market is restricted. It also makes it harder to borrow to buy land because the collateral is harder to sell on a default.

    Cayman has absolutely no restrictions on land ownership, and they have used it to attract massive foreign investment both for business parks (like Camana Bay), and for building residential holiday homes (up and down 7 Mile Beach) which they sell to Americans, which brings in both *cash and “repeat tourists”.

    I am not saying they are right and we are wrong, but we need to be aware of the costs of the system as well as the benefits.

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  3. chief minister
    July 25, 2013
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • FOR HEAVEN SAKE
      July 25, 2013
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      Please close that opening in your face call your mouth.

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  4. Not Too Late
    July 25, 2013
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    There comes a time in life when Man or Woman MUST come to their senses whether through meditation or mediation. Dr. Pickering claims to be a man of God. “The Earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof”.

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  5. Nope
    July 25, 2013
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    And you are quite right Kedrick. The foreigners spend big bucks to get it, then they are given citizenship after a few years and their licence changes and we are still in poverty because we bad spend the monies.

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  6. virgin islander
    July 25, 2013
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    hmm. this coming from a man that people said was giving the rich folks rights to put pay lands and do whatever they want

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    • .
      July 25, 2013
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      Who he had want get theirs done got theirs.

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  7. RW
    July 25, 2013
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    I want to know why the VG people aint getting their land. 6 years is a long time to wait and be told the same thing. If I aint get my land I aint voti ng NDP. Plain and simple.

    All you people who going to come on here and say I must go work for my money and but my land. Go to hell. Because all the older people in the BVI who well of today were recipients of land in the past. If government want to boost the economy and construction try giving people land. Then we will build houses. Im not say it should be free, but it should be in a way that allows people to pay for it easy. Example (half acre with a $1,000 tax lean for 30 years)Thats $30,000 spread over 30 years at a $1,000 per year.

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  8. So True
    July 25, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    I was saying the same thing.”This Man was missing in action” But, I now see he was really in the act of meditation. Good to have you back Minister Pickering. I hope the same goes for all the lands in the BVI. Someone needs to also address the issue of land access to our beaches. All beaches are public, but not All beaches are public. (hmmmm).

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  9. ooooo
    July 25, 2013
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    i often think either myron or mark is the deputy….they always up in front trying to overshadow this man..me aint know wha wrong wid dem?

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  10. .
    July 25, 2013
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    this man still alive?

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