Land Dispute Erupts in Hopkins Village Over Beach Access

Land Dispute Erupts in Hopkins Village Over Beach Access

Another land dispute is brewing in the south, this time in Hopkins Village.  Residents are up in arms as the disagreement is over a land owned by a private developer.  Love News understands that some residents feel aggrieved, and are calling on the government’s intervention. According to the village’s Chairman, Macario Augustine Jr., the private landowner has moved to prohibit residents from using a portion of the beach and has begun fencing off the area. The residents say that traditionally, the beach has been used by villagers to recreate and believe that the area is crown land. We understand that the village council is meeting at this hour to discuss the issue.  Weighing in on the matter was Stann Creek West Area Representative, Rodwell Ferguson, who explained that the land was sold under the previous administration.

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport: “I am listening keenly because they are targeting myself, the Minister of Lands and likewise the Prime Minister. But for the public to know that piece of land was issued in October of 2020 when the title was issued. And so we took office in November of 2020. So it’s clearly that the land was issued under the UDP administration. And it’s unfortunate these guys are going around making malice against us who are there now and don’t mention that it was issued in October of 2020 under the UDP administration. As the representative for Hopkins I will have to sit down with them locally and figure out how it can be solved. I don’t even know where the land actually is until I have to go and look at it myself to see you know what this is not appropriate. I don’t know at this point in time.”

Reporter: So you have any idea what’s the issue these residents have raised though?

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Transport: “Well, what I was told, I say I don’t have full idea of what happens. What I was told that the land was issued in front of a house toward the sea and normally the 66 feet is for government reserve. So I don’t know right now if the land is on a government reserve or if it’s not, but somebody who lives just behind is complaining that now they have blocked the view from the sea from that individual. So I will have to do my own investigation to make sure I have it right.”

Earlier today a video was uploaded to social media where the village chairman was heard using expletives to the private land developer, telling him that he is not afraid of him. ///

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