Land acquisition move passes Senate
THE SENATE passed a resolution yesterday as the Government moved closer to getting its hands on land owned by businesswoman Asha “Mrs Ram” Mirchandani for the Hyatt Centric Hotel development.
The resolution, under the Land Acquisition Act, is for the compulsory acquisition by the Crown of 7 328 square metres of land at Lower Bay Street “for public purpose of tourism development”.
Leader of Government Business, Senator Jerome Walcott, said the land would be to accommodate key sites for tourism investment as part of the redevelopment plan for Bridgetown.
He explained that the area was owned by Tiny Tots Limited and occupied by Liquidation Centre, and in keeping with the publishing rules, notices had been placed in the dailies and the Official Gazette.
He said that discussions had been ongoing for quite a few months and as has happened from time to time in similar acquisitions, there was disagreement on the valuation and amount offered by Government.
He was not prepared to go into details about the discussions but said Government had made “a more than reasonable offer” based on the valuation by the Land Tax Department and after further valuation.
He added, however, that the owners were disputing the offer, stating that the property was worth more, but interestingly had previously disputed the valuation by the Land Tax Department claiming it had been over-valued for tax purposes. Now the owners were stating the property was being under-valued and worth much more, he said.