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Apple Bay residents willing to swap land for new road

A section of the main road in the Apple Bay area which has been badly damaged by heavy rains.

Some landowners in the Apple Bay area of Tortola are seeking to ink a deal with the government which could see them swapping portions of their land to allow for the construction of a new road further inland.

Hurricane Irma, as well as subsequent floods, have caused significant damage to the main road in the area.

In an interview with BVI News Online, First District Representative Andrew Fahie made it clear that the landowners are not interested in monetary compensation.

“The owners are not looking for any money. They are willing to swap their land for the [damaged] government road on the bayside for their land further inland.”

According to Fahie, during discussions with them, an agreement was also reached as to the portion of land they are willing to give.

“We have even gone a step further to negotiate to have the road moved back 250 feet. We have been in conversations with the owners who are indigenous BV Islanders, who came from St. Thomas and now we are approaching the government to move the road from the seaside.”

Proactive Approach

Noting that significant damage was done to the roadway, the First District Representative who is also the Opposition Leader, said moving the road further inland would be a proactive step to guard against future destruction by hurricanes.

“Given that with climate change, and knowing that the sea level in the future will be rising, it is [projected] that you might see one or two more Irma-like-hurricanes in the future. So with those kinds of things out there, it is best to start to make new plans to address the problems rather than putting a band-aid on it.”

According to Fahie, this solution will be much cheaper than trying to rebuild the damaged road.

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