This land is mine!

While residents of White Hill, St Andrew, may be finally rejoicing over the paving of their new road on Wednesday, Marcia Carrington is lamenting that some of her land was utilised to build the road, without her knowledge and consent.

Standing on the marl road Tuesday morning, the day before it was paved, Carrington, who had to flee her home at White Hill because of land slippage, said she felt she was being “unfaired”.

Parliamentary representative for St Andrew, Dr Romel Springer, while not denying her ownership of the land, said on Wednesday they were looking into the matter.

Carrington said she bought two roods of land in 2005 which butts and bounds Hillaby and the entrance of the road leading to White Hill, with the intention of building a house to get away from the land slippage in White Hill where she resided.

However, Carrington said when she submitted her house plans to the then Town & Country Planning Department in 2014, the same year in which there was a massive land slippage in White Hill which destroyed a huge section of the road, she was denied the opportunity to build.

However, to her surprise, a section of her land was taken up and changed into a turning bay for the Transport Board buses.

“They didn’t ask permission. They just came and take up my land,” she lamented, adding that she immediately went to an attorney.

“My attorney wrote letters to the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) and each time she wrote they never responded.”

Fast forward to ten years later, the 52-year-old woman said she got a further shock when a friend contacted her about a notice in the newspaper concerning Government acquiring land at White Hill to build the new road.

“My friend tell me she see a list of names but my name was not there.”

Now living in St George, Carrington said she took the long drive to White Hill only to discover that the road was cut through her land in the same area which was used for the buses to turn around.

She immediately contacted Springer about the matter.

“He said he did not see my name on the list. I tell him I own the land and Government encroach on my land again because the MTW come and take it as a turntable and nobody said anything to me.”

She said the situation has left her “stressed out and disappointed” as she recalled having to borrow money from the credit union to purchase the land and that she paid the land tax every year.

Pointing to a pile of sand and grits that were now partially concealed by dirt, which she had bought to start the building of her home in 2014, Carrington also questioned why she was not allowed to build her house but Government was now building a road in the same area.

“This is unfair to me. If you gine come to encroach on my land, by all rights you should give me notice. This is almost ten years and all they gine tell me is they ain’t know it is my land. Yet I have the conveyance, the title deed and my mortgage certificate. I thought they would check and work to suit.”

Ironically, Carrington has worked at MTW for the past 29 years.

She said: “They telling people outside [of Barbados] they should come back and own piece of the rock, but if you here now and you own piece of the rock and you getting treat so unkind with it, I don’t know what standard you are setting.”

A neighbour whose land was also utilised said he was willing to vouch for Carrington’s ownership of the property.

“I was the one who tell her that the people overseas selling the land and I took Miss Carrington to buy it. The road cut through her land,” he said, showing the area which was used.

When contacted, Springer, who is also Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works, told the DAILY NATION that the Ministry of Housing and Lands was investigating the matter.

“She sent me her documents last week and those documents were shared today at a meeting that we had. We are now doing some surveys and those would give us a better idea as to the ownership of land. What we see on the original survey indicates that her land abuts and abounds the parcel of land that was acquired which was George Watson’s land. I know she would’ve bought land from George Watson.

“We expect the survey work to be done by next week Wednesday. Nobody is denying that she owns the land, but we can only go with the information that we have available to us,” he added.

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