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Apr 29, 2010

Landmark ruling in the case of proposed West Landivar Development

In the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a major ruling was made over a piece of prime land in the Caribbean Shores Division which is owned by businessman, David Gegg.  Gegg took the Attorney General and the Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, to court after the Minister declared the land a public reserve, stopping him from developing the land.  The background is that Gegg had acquired a lease for the land from government in August of 1995 and in 2005 he applied to purchase the land.  The Government agreed to sell it and he purchased the freehold interest for thirty nine thousand one hundred and forty nine dollars.  But he did not receive a title certificate.  In February of 2007, the Central Planning Authority approved an environmental clearance to Gegg to construct a marina and pier on the land.  But in April of that same year the West Landivar Citizens Action Committee began lobbying to stop Gegg’s proposed developments on grounds that it would be a nuisance and that serious environmental concerns and damages would evolve.  One month later the Belize City Council revoked Gegg’s trading license and the Department of Fisheries issued a report recommending suspension of his Environmental Compliance Plan.  Later that year all of Gegg’s permits to construct were cancelled and Minister Vega declared the land a public reserve.

In her ruling delivered this Tuesday, Justice Minnet Hafiz Bertram awarded no damages claimed by Gegg who told the court that he got a sizeable loan to invest in the project. But she did find that the Minister Vega was not empowered to declare the land a public reserve as was done in 2007. She also prescribed that court costs be awarded to Gegg.

Andrew Marshalleck and Naima Barrow Badillo were the attorneys for Gegg while Pricilla Banner represented the Attorney General.  The West Landivar Citizens Action Committee who was an interested party in the proceedings, was represented by Tania Moody.

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1 Response for “Landmark ruling in the case of proposed West Landivar Development”

  1. jose says:

    This is what I call courage to confront a now bureaucratic system at the Land Office in Belmopan. I would like to see more cases as these to be aired and unmask the happenings at the Land Registry. These cases are heaping and sooner or later will fly into rage. Regrettable this abruptness is orchestrated by high rank and close official’s (Cronies) to the Minister of Land, who embarrass the Minister to face the music in Court, and who will further cause him to sag for the General elections. Wake-up Minister !!!!

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