ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The landless will be given priority in the queue when government begins the distribution of approximately 600 plots of land, at concessionary prices, at the end of the month.
Those left holding the bag owing to the Antigua Labour Party’s (ALP) failed Land-for-Youth scheme are also in for a reprieve, Minister of Lands Hilson Baptiste said.
The latter group, which has been in limbo for a decade, can expect an announcement shortly, the minister said.
“Some of them paid down monies and some paid off for lands they never had. The former administration took their money, but never gave them the land,” Baptiste said.
He noted that these individuals would be allocated lands in and around the North Sound area.
“We are finalising the deal and they can look out for a plan to come in by next month,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, speaking Tuesday night at a United Progressive Party’s (UPP) town hall meeting at Princess Margaret School (PMS), Baptiste said plots would be available, primarily for first-time landowners, starting at the end of May.
Though the plots are available across the island, land in Bendals, Wier’s and Red Hill will be on offer first.
The minister, in a subsequent interview, said the prices and the sizes would be dependent on location.
“Lands are subdivided based on topography. The shape of the land will determine the size of the lot, but the average size is 5,500 square feet. Some are bigger, some are smaller,” Baptiste said.
“The prices are also based on location and the infrastructural needs, so that if the land is on a hill where it is difficult to put water and electricity, it would cost more than land in a flat area, but the prices range from $3.50 per square foot to $5.50,” Baptiste added.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)