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At the most recent sitting of the House of Representatives a very controversial land issue in the Orange Walk East constituency was brought to the limelight by Orange Walk South Area Representative, Jose Abelardo Mai. The parcel in question is the one where the former East Polyclinic lies. In the House, Mai revealed that the paper works for parcel 2704 is in process and is to be given out to UDP affiliate Fiona Lui who is presently employed at the Lands Department in Corozal Town. In an interview on Saturday with Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos, he told us that the sub division of the parcel was carried out and that the parcel remains as government property.

wilberWilbert Vallejos – Commissioner of Lands

“It’s still for the government of Belize, what has happened is that the government has authorized a sub-division of the parcel to create two parcels; one that would house the clinic and the other that would have been potentially for her to apply and get a lease for, the survey was done but since October of 2011, I had stopped the application so I haven’t even submitted that application to the minister for consideration because I felt that the resulting parcels would have been too small and subdivision guidelines wouldn’t have been followed so when it is said that the land has been granted or given to Ms. Liu, then it is not so it is for the government  of Belize, it remains to the government of Belize .”

And while that parcel is one thing, we also questioned Vallejos on the on-going situation with the Guadalupe Park, which is also situated in the East Constituency.

Wilbert Vallejos – Commissioner of Lands

“The land commonly known as Guadalupe Park it is the property of the Government of Belize, the private owners that had it have transferred it to the government of Belize so it is registered as Government Property.”

On January 31st we reported that the Orange Walk Town Council had proceeded with its application to the Lands Department for parcel 2215 known as the Guadalupe Park. According to Mayor Kevin Bernard, representatives of the council attempted to enter the application at the department here in Orange Walk but the application was rejected. In a turn of events, when we questioned Vallejos on the issue, he stated he was unaware that the councils application was rejected since only him as the Commissioner of Lands and the Minister of Natural Resources, in this case the Honorable Gaspar Vega, are the only ones in position of rejecting an application.

Wilbert Vallejos – Commissioner of Lands

“For an application to be rejected the application has to go through the process and then reach to the commissioner and then to the minister who rejects an application , you can’t say the application has been rejected if it hasn’t been processed but yes on an interview to another media house I had said that in my humble opinion, this is my personal opinion that anybody who has an interest to hold the land has to be somebody who has to maintain the purpose of what the land was acquired for and looking at what it was acquired for and I am talking about the other two lands where there is some sort of sporting facility there and if the department at the end of the day, the ministry is going to look at what is the highest and best use of the land in terms of whether it is going to continue to be a sporting facility or it is going to be declare a Park which is another use and based on that and determine who is the best partner with the government to co-manage it and co-own it because the land will remain for the government of Belize but either in co-ownership with the Town Council or the National sports council, that has not been determined, that has been tabled and it is been looked at in terms of what I said needs to be taken into consideration  before a final decision is made.”

We’ll have more on these stories as it develops.

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