Melford Nicholas explains here on youtube rather unconvincingly why a new Barbuda Land Registry is necessary, but Barbudans are clear they will not comply with this or any further attempts to control Barbuda land until the outcome of the appeal of their land court case – to be considered by the Privy Council. This new land registry will be a continuation of a process intended to remove Barbudans from their common land.
The Barbuda Council has historically allocated land to both investors and local people and mostly kept records of all land allocation, both written and more importantly through local historical knowledge. This has been repeatedly undermined by the allocation of other undisclosed leases. More recently the Barbuda Land Act was passed to prevent corruption and make that process clear and simple.
The Privy Council appeal case will ultimately determine whether Councillors Wayde Burton and Mackenzie Frank, with MP Trevor Walker (named on the case) are to be compensated for land given illegally to the founders of Paradise Found and as such, will also determine future development on Barbuda. Recently ‘Master of the Universe’ Mike Meldman of Barbuda Ocean Club (PLH) claimed in the New York Post that Barbuda’s ‘real estate scene’ will be the new St Barts…and they wonder why we don’t like them?! You can chip your fish food golf balls into the ocean from the super-chic clubhouse all day and all night Mr Meldman, but you cannot have the whole island and you need to pay your rent to us – we are the people who have looked after that amazing beach for the past 400 years.
The recent Council election should have made it clear to the Antiguan government (and to PLH) what the majority of Barbudans feel about Gaston Browne’s intention to further lease (and eventually sell) Barbuda land to non-Barbudans. All five BPM candidates won. All five ALP candidates lost.