The Hopkins Village Council along with residents in the area are concerned over two parcels of land that the Council’s Chairman, Ted McKoy says is being unlawfully constructed upon. Unlawfully, because McKoy says no lease has been issued on the parcels nor is there any building permit granted.
“These are two pieces of land that the Hopkins Village Council had applied for in 2005 and the village needs those properties for projects that it wants to do. This person today is putting a building on it and refuses to take instructions from the Council to stop building. We did look to see if he was granted any approvals by the ministry and so far we found that there are no such approval and we are seeking the help from the Ministry of Natural Resources to address this issue immediately. These two lot numbers are 825 and 826 to the south of Hopkins, West of Chachyboo. Everybody in Hopkins knows of Chachyboo; this is a building on a curve going towards the resorts in Hopkins. The community is concerned. I as the Chairman have gotten various concerns from the residents about the clearing and now the development of that particular piece of property. The council is obviously alarmed. We would like to Richard Webster to stop building on that property. The building is going up fast so the council has no choice but to try to bring light to this problem so that it can stop. I have gone to see the police; I did inform the Corporal Williams. They accompanied me to the site, they advised Mr. Webster not to proceed but because the police do not have a stop order to proceed with stopping him completely they did advise him to stop but he decided not to follow the instructions of the police either.”
Love News contacted the Lands Commissioner, Wilbert Vallejos who explained that McKoy was indeed looking into the matter and as a result the Lands Department had placed the application of Richard Webster for the parcels on-hold. The Lands Commissioner also noted that upon McKoy’s visit to the Lands Department yesterday there were additional information uncovered including the allegation that McKoy has given the land to one Macario Augustine. McKoy has denied that allegation and additionally noted that it was Walter Garbutt who recommended that the land be given to Augustine. The Commissioner says that the parcels of land remain the property of the Government of Belize and no one has been granted a lease for them. McKoy, however, has shown us photographs of construction being carried out presently on the land, reportedly by Richard Webster.