More young locals are interested in owning land in the British Virgin Islands, Minister for Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley has said.
He said roughly 600 persons have already applied to the ministry.
“We continue to receive more, almost daily.”
“Land ownership engenders a sense of pride and accomplishment, and we want to do our best to get the young people of this territory on the part of wealth creation and building a legacy for future generations,” he said while delivering remarks at the recent sitting of the House of Assembly.
In the meantime, Wheatley is urging applicants to be patient as “this matter as this is not a simple and straight forward task, by any stretch of the imagination.”
“The ministry has been fielding some very complicated land issues, some of which date back forty years and some fifty years ago. The land situation in this territory is very convoluted and requires an inordinate amount of time to sort out,” he said.
Nonetheless, he said the Andrew Fahie-led administration is determined to assist locals.
“These issues span the entire length and breadth of this territory, and we are determined to assist as the people have nowhere else to turn for a solution to these vexing issues. We have identified areas in the Registered Land Ordinance that needs some revision. To that end, we have convened a committee that is currently working on those reviews.”
Meanwhile, he also apologized to persons who might have wrongfully received letters informing them that they have been awarded a piece of Crown land.
“I assure you that we are doing everything possible to issue titles. Based on our current policy to revoke lands that were not paid for, we are in the process of making those lots available to persons who were previously approved by Cabinet. While the general idea is to give as many persons (especially young people) as possible the opportunity for land ownership, priority will be given to those that are in a position to qualify at a bank for the loan to do so this decision was on the heal of a number of applications that cannot be satisfied at this time, while at the same time there are persons who were awarded land and have made no attempt to pay for it, and this goes as far back as 15 years or more” he explained.
Delinquent landowners had a six-week time frame to pay up the funds owed on the government-issued Crown lands, or they are at risk of losing the said property.
The land distribution initiative is in keeping with an election promise to residents by the VIP.
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