Senior Property Valuer, Bernard Lloyd has explained a number of challenges faced during the land negotiations for Dominica’s International Airport.
Lloyd indicates that the persons are for the airport but are emotionally tied to their properties, making it a difficult negotiating process.
“The people are generally for the airport project. I don’t think we have met one person that has said ‘No we don’t want the airport’. But to part with their property, that’s where the problem is and that’s what sometimes stifles the negotiation process,” Lloyd mentioned.
Another issue is that of doubts in the minds of the people as to whether the airport project will come to fruition.
“Obviously, Wesley, Marigot, and even Dominicans generally have been hearing about airport development for the past maybe twenty, twenty-five, thirty years or more, the people are doubtful,” he said.
“I usually say to the people why would government go in there, acquire 233 properties, displace 70 residences and not build an airport. Frankly speaking, it would be surprising to me as a negotiator.”
Lloyd also stated that the presence of COVID-19 has also been affecting the negotiating processes as well.
“I have spoken to a number of persons who would be willing otherwise than COVID to come in to do their own negotiations face to face. I had an instance last week or two weeks ago where this guy said we have to arrange a virtual meeting so he can see my face, I can see his face, his sister can join, and so on. Some of the people are prepared to come but then we all know of the quarantine protocol and because of that persons are kind of reluctant,” Senior Property Valuer, Bernard Lloyd explained on Prime Minister Skerrit’s Anou Palay show.