The Opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has welcomed the Crown Land Review Consultation, which is currently ongoing.
The following is the Opposition’s statement:
The Crown Land Unit of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government held a Consultative Meeting to review the Crown Land Management System. The review targets the relevant Ordinances, procedures and resources available with respect to Crown Land in the TCI.
The meeting comes as a joint UK initiative with TCIG to gain some perspective and gather concerns on the various challenges encountered by Turks and Caicos Islanders with the Crown Land Management processes.
The Leader of the Opposition confirmed that he and his team attended the meeting and engaged in extensive discussions to present their recommendations.
Honorable Alvin Garland shared his views and stated that the current process for the grant of Crown Land for both residential and commercial requests do not empower Turks and Caicos Islanders, and welcomed the necessary changes whereby Crown Land will be much more accessible for TCI Islanders by using a different approach rather than the lottery system approach.
The Deputy Leader, Robert Been, voiced a strong recommendation for the Government to pause all lease cancellations, whether expired or current, until the Crown Land Unit completes their policy review and it is approved into Law.
Been went further and stated that he supported the former Deputy Premier and that the selection process could be decided in the following phases, such as in house with the crown land unit department, secondly in a ministerial department and also final approval with a newly form statutory body.
Former Deputy Premier, Hon. Sean Astwood was invited to join the team to offer his knowledge and experience on Crown Land, and he raised a number of important issues facing the current administration and distribution of Crown Land.
He stated that Crown Land should be in the hands of an elected Officials. He went on and said the matter should be address with urgency and priorities those that’s in the position to obtain freehold title.
Honorable Astwood assures that their recommendations will be formally submitting to the Government’s consultative review team for their consideration in a more details format.
The leader also went on and stated that the process should be open to those that would want to access crown land in any of the family islands rather than just Grand Turk and Providenciales.
Those were just a few suggested and comments made by the opposition. As stated, the opposition will be submitting a detailed recommendation to crown land unit that should be implemented in the new policy.