ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Businessman Miles Codrington Thursday denied that his brother, Parliamentarian Chanlah Codrington, influenced officials to give him preferential treatment for the establishment of an EC $14 million housing project at Lightfoot.
Construction Products Limited (CPL) broke ground yesterday for the Lightfoot West Affordable Homes Development, in a ceremony addressed by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, Finance Minister Harold Lovell and the Codrington brothers.
Speaking to OBSERVER Media shortly after the ceremony, the project developer said rumours that he was receiving special treatment from his brother, the junior minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, were not new but completely false.
“It’s not the first time I’ve heard that but persons are so wrong,” Codrington said, adding, “if Chanlah wasn’t in politics maybe things would be easier.”
Miles received tax incentives for the purchase of the 10-acre plot of land at Lightfoot and under the Construct Antigua & Barbuda Initiative, the ABST and the Revenue Recovery Charge were waived.
The developer said because of his brother’s political affiliation, he felt victimised during certain stages of the project.
“Even when the Labour Party was in government, I could have gotten things done easier than now,” Miles said.
“So for somebody to say that, I would not really entertain any conversation of that sort.”
He also denied that his brother had an ownership interest in the multi-million-dollar project, although admitting that the two enjoy a cordial relationship.
Addressing a crowd that included potential homeowners, Finance Minister Harold Lovell said the project is a clear example of successful partnerships and was taking place at a time when individuals are skeptical to invest.
“We should all therefore be happy and proud that a son of the soil has come forward with this important initiative which will have the effect of job creation, promoting investments and alleviating poverty,” Lovell said.
Lightfoot West Affordable Homes Development is to include about 70 two- and three-bedroom homes with all the modern day amenities and proper access to the area.
Owning a home there can cost between EC $150,000 to EC $240,000. Project construction is carded for mid-June and it is estimated to be completed within one to two years, creating jobs in a number of areas.
Financing for the Lightfoot development comes from local financial institutions.