IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Great wall of ChinadosJefferson Holder standing next to the imposing wall which runs behind residents’ houses and which he says is too high. (Maria Bradshaw)
Fri, June 15, 2012 - 12:00 AM
IT IS not as imposing as the Great Wall of China but residents of Maxwell Hill, Christ Church, are upset about the height of a guard wall that a Chinese construction company has built close to their backyards.
Last year, the Chinese began construction of a huge mansion on land at Maxwell, which they bought, despite claims by resident, David Bourne, that the land belonged to his family.
The Chinese took Bourne to court and won a judgement which ordered him to vacate the spot but Bourne is still living there, while the construction company, Chinados, has built the main mansion next door to his house.
Now, resident Jefferson Holder, is complaining about a guard wall, which was erected at the back of the mansion separating it from their houses, and it is less than a foot away from their backyards.
Holder said prior to the construction of the wall, he spoke to an official at Chinados and asked that two to three feet of space be left from the boundary line, but he said this was not done.
Instead, he charged concrete beams extending from ground level were cast on top of his landmark and the wall afforded them very little space.
He said residents were even more dismayed since the wall was now about 17 feet, 12 feet and nine feet at some points. In addition, Holder said it was blocking a watercourse and residents feared that they would now have to deal with flooding issues.
Holder said he wrote to the Town & Country Planning Department to complain about the situation and last month an official visited the area.
“When I showed him the wall, he said it was definitely too high and would have to be brought down to about five feet. He told us that he would speak to management at Chinados about it and now, a month later, workers are out here painting the wall. So when is it going to be rectified?”
Pointing to the wall, the young man said it was a huge obstruction for residents.
“The Chinese want to buy land in Barbados, but they do not want anything to do with their neighbours and that is why they are blocking us off,” he said.
When contacted, Will Wu, of Chinados, said their attorneys had addressed the issue with the wall.
“I think we have talked to our lawyers about the land and with our neighbours about it. We would see to it and take a look at the height of the wall,” he stated.
An official at Town & Country Planning confirmed that a visit was made to the site and a letter sent to Chinados about the wall.
“We would have to revisit the area,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Bourne, a small farmer who first brought the issue to public attention, said he recently received a letter from attorneys representing Chinados which stated that his house was to be removed from the site.
He said the company had offered to relocate him to an unfinished two-storey structure behind his house, which his sister had constructed, but which she abandoned following the court case.
Bourne said his attorney was perusing the offer.
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