An application for an injunction has been filed in the High Court against the Barbuda Council to prevent it from trespassing on lands leased to Kelcina Burton-George, a Barbudan businesswoman who owns Barbuda Cottages. Burton-George claims that the Council’s Letter of Notice informing her of its intentions was only given to her after the mission had been completed.
The family subsequently put up barriers to protect their property, but they were removed by the same backhoe driver during the Barbuda People’s Movement’s annual beach party on May 6.
In 2013, Burton-George received approval for the land lease from the Barbuda Council, which had condemned the road in front of the cottages. In 2021, the lease was granted by the Central Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
Last Thursday, a backhoe operator allegedly instructed by the Barbuda Council Public Works Representative used his equipment to remove the barriers at the west entrance of Burton-George’s private property, allowing public access.
Burton-George and her establishment have been a source of inspiration to the community, as she is the first Barbudan female to own and manage a resort on her island, and has created job opportunities that have helped boost the economy.
Both the government, as lessor, and Burton-George, as lessee, have hired lawyers who made the injunction application before the High Court.
This is to prevent the Barbuda Council from trespassing on lands legally leased to Burton-George. A video recording of the event shows the owners of Barbuda Cottages attempting to stand their ground, but the backhoe driver continued, endangering the family and other property workers.
Burton-George had first identified the land in 1992 and expressed her interest in developing it for tourism.
The Barbuda Council approved the land that same year. The Council’s chairman, McKensie Frank, was served with notice on Thursday, and the High Court Judge will give directions to the attorneys representing both sides in the dispute.
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