Charles: Smooth transition for Tobago residents at new airport building

Chief sec­re­tary of the To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly (THA) Kelvin Charles is as­sur­ing To­ba­go res­i­dents af­fect­ed by the con­struc­tion of a new ter­mi­nal build­ing and as­so­ci­at­ed works at the ANR Robin­son In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port that the THA will pro­vide sup­port to en­sure the smoothest pos­si­ble tran­si­tion.

The sec­ond stake­hold­er con­sul­ta­tion was held by the Na­tion­al In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Com­pa­ny (Nid­co) at the Rovanel’s Re­sort where it was re­it­er­at­ed that the project will re­quire the com­pul­so­ry ac­qui­si­tion of 53 acres of land in the vicin­i­ty of the air­port and this will af­fect prop­er­ty own­ers in the des­ig­nat­ed area.

He said the THA ful­ly un­der­stands the so­cial, fi­nan­cial and eco­nom­ic im­pli­ca­tions the re­lo­ca­tion process will have on res­i­dents, and as such, he wants to en­sure this im­pact is min­imised as much as pos­si­ble.

He said, “As an as­sem­bly, we have been proac­tive in our ef­forts to make the process more man­age­able and in that re­gard we set up an Air­port Re­lo­ca­tion Com­mit­tee. The res­i­dents af­fect­ed will be pro­vid­ed with the op­tion for land in three dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories—res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial/res­i­den­tial and agri­cul­tur­al—along with the re­quired in­fra­struc­ture (util­i­ties), at a re­duced cost.”

The Air­port Re­lo­ca­tion Com­mit­tee, chaired by Al­lan Richards, has iden­ti­fied 12.5 acres of res­i­den­tial plots at Shir­van Road, near to the Shir­van Road Po­lice Sta­tion, to cater to those with res­i­den­tial needs on­ly.

Those with com­mer­cial in­ter­ests seek­ing to re-es­tab­lish their busi­ness­es will be fa­cil­i­tat­ed at Cove Es­tate on 30 acres of ul­tra-prime lands.

While lands at Cour­land have been iden­ti­fied for those wish­ing to en­gage in agri­cul­ture.

Fol­low­ing com­pen­sa­tion for prop­er­ties, res­i­dents will have the op­tion of se­lect­ing from avail­able lots on a first come, first serve ba­sis.

Ad­di­tion­al­ly, res­i­dents will al­so have the op­tion of se­cur­ing prop­er­ty through pri­vate pur­chase.

Fur­ther to this, the Shir­van res­i­den­tial lo­ca­tion will al­so pro­vide close ac­cess to ameni­ties, such as su­per­mar­kets, Ear­ly Child­hood Care and Ed­u­ca­tion (EC­CE) cen­tres and pri­ma­ry schools, shop­ping plazas and gas sta­tions. Res­i­dents will have the ben­e­fit of un­der­ground util­i­ties, as well as as­sis­tance with statu­to­ry ap­provals for build­ing plans.

Charles said the pri­or­i­ty for the THA is en­sur­ing that the com­mu­ni­ty re­mains to­geth­er.

“It will be of com­fort to res­i­dents that they can main­tain prox­im­i­ty and close ties with their ex­ist­ing neigh­bours even as this tran­si­tion oc­curs. We are com­mit­ted to do­ing that as far as it is with­in our ca­pac­i­ty,” he added.

The con­sul­ta­tion ad­dressed the fol­low­ing ar­eas re­gard­ing the project:

· Pre­sen­ta­tion of the Land Ac­quis­tion Pol­i­cy

· Im­pact of the main works of the project on com­mu­ni­ty

(Con­struc­tion of a new ter­mi­nal build­ing, con­struc­tion of a new car park, air­side in­fra­struc­ture)

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