“Do the right thing!” is the message from the THA’s Infrastructure Secretary, Kwesi Des Vignes to land developers in Tobago whom, he said, are being deliberately malicious toward young persons.
He was responding to questions from the media regarding initiating road works on private property at the last Post Executive Press Conference held on 15th September 2021.
Secretary Des Vignes revealed that the Division was inundated with requests from members of the public residing on private developments to adopt roads for the purpose of providing road and drainage works and other retentive structures.
“There is a particular issue plaguing the Division and Tobago, I would say. There are many indiscriminate and unscrupulous developers in Tobago who are selling people lands as developed lands, charging them for developed lands but are not developing the land,” he said.
“Up to recently, someone shared with me that they called the developer and the developer said ‘there’s nothing I can do about that and there’s nothing you can do about it either because you already paid’.”
Secretary Des Vignes added that as part of the conditional approval given by Town and Country Planning, developers are bound to deliver the basic utilities and infrastructure including drainage, roadways and access to other utilities. He advised young people and others aspiring to own land “to be mindful; do the research; be aware of the responsibility of the developers; and see that the land is adequately developed before payment is exchanged.”
According to the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment, the adoption of a private street involves the road being treated subsequently as maintainable at public expense. The Highways Act (2016) states that where the amenities, utilities or works on a private street are not “to the satisfaction of the [local] authority, sewered, levelled, paved, metalled, drained… the Authority may from time resolve with respect to the street to execute street works”, the cost of which may be apportioned by residents fronting said street.
The Division is urging buyers and landowners in private developments to apprise themselves of the Act and responsibilities set out therein.