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“They will be removed” says PM Browne of hesitant Booby Alley residents

On April 12, 2022, some residents in Booby Alley refuse to move to allow teh government of Antigua & Barbuda and the Peoples Republic of China to begin work on the Social Housing project

A small group of residents who are said to be holding up the construction of the social housing project in Booby Alley “will be removed,” prime minister Gaston Browne told reporters on Thursday.

He said taking a legal route was one option that his government will explore in order to allow the construction of 150 units to break ground. “It’s unfortunate that some people try to bring in the partisan political aspect into it but at the end of the day, I think we’ve gone past that and I think they understand they have to move, they have no choice.”

Mr. Browne while acknowledging people’s reluctance to move, as being inherently human nature, he believes that the remaining families know that relocating is in their “best interest”. “I have no doubt that they will eventually cooperate,” he stated, noting that alternative accommodations are being currently secured to relocate them.

“They’re obviously trying to frustrate the process and demand more but they have to understand, as it stands now, all of the properties were acquired – land and property so, they’re public properties and the government has the right to issue a notice for them to vacate.”

“So, they really don’t have negotiating power,” he added.

Island Press Box attempted to speak with some of the remaining residents but only one woman told our newsroom that she is willing to move and that a house is being prepared for her and her family in the same neighbourhood.

On March 9, 2020 senate passed a declaration to allow the state to claim seven parcels of privately owned land on Alfred Peters Street under the Land Acquisition Act. Those lands now belong to the Crown. 

Documents from the Land Registry Department showed that these private residents would have occupied the property since 1979. 

The first set of houses are expected to be constructed on Bay Street and Pestaina Street in Villa while the others will stretch towards Pares main road and Bendals.

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