Barbados Moving To Curb Land Speculation?

Barbados Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins has been making noises that he is not happy that some people have lands approved for development – and then leave the land undeveloped for decades.

Cummins gave an interview to The Nation News that is worth reading – but regarding his statements, the question is… how much of what Mr. Cummins says is Mr. Cummins the person, how much is Mr. Cummins the Chief Town Planner, and how much is government policy?

After reading the interview, one still has to ask, "Just what is the policy and the law regarding property development in Barbados?"

Some folks have recommended viewing chicken entrails when trying to discern Barbados government land development policy. We prefer counting fish taken from the port and starboard side of the boat.

Either method of interpreting Barbados land development policy is probably valid and as accurate as any other.


Barbados Property Owner Attempts to Interpret Government Land Development Policy using a Chicken Foot Voodoo Stick

(Courtesy of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop)


Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

22 responses to “Barbados Moving To Curb Land Speculation?

  1. John

    If you count the fish taken from the back of the boat as well as the port and starboard, all will be made clear!!

    But for heavens sake, don’t count the ones taken them from the front!!

    There is to be a Town Hall Meeting on Friday, May 19, 2006 at the Community Resource Centre at Hill Crest Bathsheba at 6:00pm.

    The meeting will allow for discussion and comments on the proposed redevelopment at Hill Crest to be undertaken by the the Barbados Tourism Investment Corporation in collaboration with the Rural Development Commission, the Ministry of Social Transformation and the Private Sector.

    Anybody know what is to happen?

    Didn’t the Minister of Town Planning say a short while ago no new development on the East Coast?

    Does redevelopment constitute new development?

    Did I hear the minister wrong?

    This is just up the hill from the Batsheba sewage outflow.

  2. ross

    And who owns the land?

  3. Honeybee

    Something about this land story seems to be missing. I think we need more detail. Why would anyone miss the opportunity to develop land if they had the permission to do it?

  4. Jane

    I know of an instance where permission to subdivide 1 1/4 acres into 4 lots was granted and valid but the new owner wanted to do less than what the permission gave him the right to do. After a lot of run-around he was assured by a senior person from the Town Planning Department during a site visit that there was absolutely no problem with his request and that this would be communicated to him by letter.

    The process has so far been 2 years of frustration and expense.

    The matter has now been handed over to the Prime Minister.

    Incidentally, the person is a returning national looking to retire in Barbados and to bring his money with him but he is now hesitant to do so.

    Wouldn’t the best advice under these circumstances be for him to look to invest his money and retire elsewhere?

  5. Honeybee: Very easy, I heard Maxine MaClean on the call in program spelling out how such can occur and her personal story is the same as mine. It is one thing to get the land it is another to get the mortgage. For me it was the uninformed rush to secure a piece of de rock now, and build later. Anyone care to deny that this is a commonly held view?

    Jane: I am of the same view and will be selling de land, they are several things that makes Barbados a less than welcoming envoirnment for me. I get the sense that my money is welcome but not me, and i aint plan to part wid it until death. 😀

  6. Eve

    I hear Dominica is quite nice!! Seriously, I am also looking elsewhere – St. Lucia makes it very easy to own property – much less expensive too!

  7. Eve: For a visit, I have not reach the financial level to buy, build and live relatively comfortably to my expectations in these countries, After buying and building many a returned nationals seem to be regretting their decisions somewhat as a result of the day to day confusion, over petty things such regulating dogs, catching a snake/s, constant water shortage, electrical outage, 17:00BDS for a whole uncooked chicken the size of a baby game fowl, poor service, and a whole host of stupidness, and simple annoyance that creates alarm, brings out the local academics and intelligensia to pontificate and opinionate but never rectifying or solving the problems. I have no idea why retirees in the twilight of their years would want to subject themselves to such daily stupidity. But Eve isn’t land expensive in all the islands? and what impact is the inability to get person to register their land ownership having on the ability of the authorities to come up with some form of a land use policy? I will note that as big as America is given that land ownership is public info i can stay in Rhode Island determine how much my sister paid for her several acres of land in Indianoplis,and let me say this it is Barbadians themselves that would rather have access to my money but frowns on my returning to live, in much the same way that it is Barbadians themselves that is causing much of the annoyance, stupidity and refusing to fixing simple things taking the taxpayers money as civil servants, private contractors, execs of statutory corps, union members as employees of said corps and not delivering in good faith for the payments received. We can stand here and blame the GoB for discarded old appliances, for companies and other business allowing sewage runoff to beach etc. But at the end of the day the person that needs to fix it is the person causing it. This dirigist attitude that has been fostered by success governments since independence, and by England before that is whats killing us, as it is killing the French, the Brits, The Germans and practicaly where-ever the Government has a strong participation in the economy. Do we really think the things we are complaining of is caused by the government as in the policies of the government? Why must there be policing to desuade the dangerous way we discard of chemicals and other hazardous waste? Laws, and regulations, don’t mean a thing if the majority of us refuse to uphold them, and when that happens no police force will be large enough to make you. 😦

  8. BFP

    Well Said, Adrian

    Yes, there is much that the individual citizen has to answer for…

    But it is also true that successive governments have, out of ignorance or corrupt behaviour, failed to provide the infrastructure that we citizens have paid for. We have been sold a bill of goods. So now we point out that Bathsheba lacks a sewer system and waste treatment facility and that human waste is fouling the water.

    What shall we do? Stop paying our taxes, form a citizen’s group and direct tax revenues to a Bathsheba sewage fund?

    Revolutions have been started over less.

  9. We must start challenge some of the nonsense that people believe. When people call into the call in program with concerns, we must ask them what they think, why do they think this is happening, what solution would they offer, what are they prepared to do, what would it take for them to take that action. Right now everybody just want to behave like children and complain looking to others for a solution, and not within themselves. I heard a woman on the callin program expressing concern about rodent infestation and dropping in a frabric store, her concern she registered with the manager and the response was unfavourable, yet still she completed the purchase. Why should she be taken seriously? she obviously did not take her self seriously. I live in the U.S and i am never too eager to spend my money as such whenever i visit BIM i do not go out of my way to spend money with merchants that i think don’t deserve my entering such a relationship with, and given the structure i.e. near monopoly of things in Barbados by a few this is not an easy understaking, but i am prepared to suffer somewhat, doing my part to effect a change, Barbadians want to have the cake and eat too. I made it a habit when i lived in Barbados to alternate my vote for the parties (thats really what it is) every 5 yrs. again to effect a change, as i believe that legacies cannot be built with such a voting pattern, and politicians will have to learn to earn their pay thru proper representation and also be force to look seriously at our flawed parliamentary and election system, it didn’t matter the performance of the representative the big picture was to force critical thinking, dialog, and changes to our system. I believe as you do that how we live our lives will be impacted by the policies of the government, and as such we cannot devorce ourselves from the process and such we must be engaged. This is clearly the biggest cause of the issues in Barbados, since 1969 the people have been shut of the process and reduce to mendecantcy, master/client relationship, and a dependantcy entitlement mentality that has way to many of believing that we are powerless. Every 5 yrs when we can energize the populace we cower and allow “corn beef and biscuits politics (the buying of votes) to reduce us to an uneducated bunch of misfits who are used to give appearances to the world that we have a functioning democracy when we do not. How can we all vote for individual constituentcy representatives and then be led by a chosen dictator in the office of the PM? who elected him/her as such? certainly not you or me. The holder of the office of the PM is not elected by us so he does not have to answer to us, thats the truth he is answerable to parliament as they are the ones that elects him/her as such, and he does not have to answer to them as long as he/she enjoys majority support, and he/she gets and keeps majority support via placements, pensions, pay, in other words thru legal corruption. We have to explain the day to day functions of our parliament in the language above so that people will begin to see it for themselves and this will/can lead to a break away from political party diehardism, and when that starts to happen a lot of dynamic things will occur that will make it easier to get message of government, parliamentary, and elections reform thru. the goal is to give voice to the people in regulating and running their own affairs, people tend to appreciate, care, and respect things when they feel ownership of said things. I could go on and on but……. 😀

  10. Pat

    Land is $5 a sq.ft. in Antigua and you can still buy on top of a mountain. It is about $3 in Dominica, but roads are poor. I would live in both places but prefer Dominica. There is no shortage of water and if you drop a seed on the ground today, tomorrow it is a tree. The soil is rich, rich, rich. There are very few people for the amount of available land. If you can do without imported stuff and grow your veggies and keep a few chickens, you will have it made in Dominica. Besides, you can catch your own fish from the sea, or the rivers.

    I hope they clean up Bathsheba before I get home next year. I am surprised about Hillcrest. It is just over Tent Bay and overlooks the coast. What do they plan to put there? Locals sell crafts and souvenirs there to the tourists. Are the locals being evicted for the established businesses? We have Atlantis, Edgewater and other smaller guest houses and restaurants. I think they should leave it the way it is. Maybe they want to build and rent out stalls?

  11. John


    We vote for members of parliament so we vote for the PM.

    He/she is answerable directly to us.

    Never forget that.

  12. John

    Use the figure of 20,000 vacant lots from the Town Planner’s interview and allow say 1/4 of an acre per lot. May be more or less than the approximate 11,000 sqft.

    That means we have 20,000 x 0.25 acres vacant and unused.

    That’s about 5000 acres we have lying idle!!

    The total land area of Barbados is 106,000 acres so we have allocated about 5% of our land resource to vacant lots.

    … and we hear daily complaints that the Town and Country Planning Office can’t handle applications for change of use expeditiously!!

    What a scam!!

  13. ….John: Do you have any idea how Tony Bliar maintain his hold on the PM office? Are you aware of the deal between him and Gordon Brown? You have no say in who becomes the PM and the PM and his Cabinet is answerable to Parliament, but is always circumvented by Maximum leadership qualities i.e. Barrow and Tom, or by placements as with Arthur. Your Parliamentarian representatives cannot even get the PM and cabinet to answer “parliamentary questions” cannot get them to bring data and information before the house, refuse to bring certain “spendings” before the house, and you would have me believe that the PM is answerable to you? It shouldn’t be condition on who is in the office, it should be built into the system that the cabinet or member of the cabinet be called to answer question before the entire house.

    Vacant lots:
    So who owns thes lots? do we know? can we tell without a properly functioning land registry?

  14. John

    Ok Ok

    Where can I get a chiken foot Voodoo stick?

  15. BFP

    shoutin at John

    You can get de chicken foot Voodoo stick at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop link at de bottom of de story.

    … an you can get one from Robert his old girlfriend….! (ha ha ha)


  16. Is it the Government of Barbados? or is it this particular Barbados labour party Government? are we truly interested in real change, or just change in governing parties? Whats in it for you?

  17. John


    Before I go and spend my hard earned money, do you or Robert know if this particular chicken foot Voodoo stick will help me answer some of Adrian’s numerous questions?

    “Ye Olde curiosity Shop” made no reviews available so that an informed decision about the purchase of its product could be made.

    Clearly it works for some in interpreting Government Land Development policy but what else is it good for?

    Will it cure Arthuritis?

  18. BFP

    Hello John

    Shona is off to pick up the boy now, but she assures me that the chicken foot Voodoo stick will indeed cure Arthuritis – but there may be some unintended side-effects or complications associated with the cure.

    In some strikingly similar disease cases (ie: Jamaicus Manningitis & Trinidadius Pandayitis) it was found after “the cure” that the patient had to face the consequences of ignoring the symptoms of the disease for so long.

    When a patient doesn’t take care of the body’s health for many years – constantly electing to become lulled into a sense that everything is ok even when the body is falling apart…. well, there are long term lifestyle issues that must be addressed before health can be truly restored.

    But before a new lifestyle can be started, there must be rules about healthy behaviour… about what the body will allow to happen to it. Sometimes the body is in conflict… wanting to drink too much even though it is against the body’s interest.

    That is why even though we are cured of Arthuritis, before we can adopt a healthy lifestyle, we must have conflict of interest rules to guide the body in it’s lifestyle decisions.

    wooo! Must be a slow day at the shop for me to waste all that time!


  19. John

    The more questions we ask, the more exposure we cause to happen, the more uncomfortable we make it for people in high places who can make a difference.

    This is good for us, and it can be fun. It really doesn’t matter who is in the high places.

    Those high places are posts and each post has a job description and duty which it must perform. The person in the post is transitory, the post and its performace is what counts.

    If the post of PM in Britain does not perform as is expected, the person gets the boot from pressure brought to bear by people like you and me and the press.

    Tony Blair is transitory. It doesn’t matter what agreement he has with Gordon whatever his name is if he does not perform up to scratch!! Look what happened to Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill.

    If we settle for less we will get it and as that great calypso goes, “We don’t have to settle for less”

    So don’t!!

    … and while doing our civic duty which is demanded of us by virtue of being citizens of Barbados and the world, we can all have a laugh!!

    By we I mean you, me, BFP etc. etc. and all the little guys and gals who won’t settle for less.

  20. BFP

    ‘an as much as both Shona and Marcus tease me about my old girlfriend, she was neither a fish nor a witch…

    … although she was sometimes a bit…..

    oh… never mind.


  21. Eve

    Check out the lead story today!!! Will residents turn out on a Friday night?

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