Categorized | National News

Urban Renewal Co-Chair Defends Demolition

Fighting off reports to the contrary, Co-chair of Urban Renewal 2.0 Algernon Allen yesterday assured that the highly touted social programme has done all the checks and balances as it relates to tearing down abandoned buildings.

Critics have argued that a number of the buildings that have been torn down were not derelict and were still occupied by Bahamians.

“It would be dissent around the throne of God. No matter how good the work, you would find someone who would seek to distract from it. The investigation by the police has been very particular, very focused; they have ensured that the neighbours tell them that the places are havens for criminals,” he said.

“If you come (to these places) in a year’s time, you will see the park we would have put down, the swings for the kids and the lies that have been out to the story we are seeking to abuse our rights. We are doing this in accordance with the law.”

Mr. Allen added that the minister of works, by law, has the authority to tear down any property that poses a problem in any given community.

“If a property has become offensive to the natural living standards of an area or a source of some items or some personalities or a derelict that it is a threat to the general environs, then he is allowed by the law that the owner either clear the property or remove them himself,” he explained.

“An art has been very fastidiously followed in every case. When you hear people claiming that there has been some property taken away that was their home, you check further and you ask the neighbours that the same home that someone is claiming as theirs is the same home for the dogs and the rats and the criminals, which all fall within in the same general category.”

Officers of the Bains Town and Grants Town Urban Renewal District spearheaded a demolition on Tuesday, where a single story wooden green and white structure was torn down.

Police Superintendent Stephen Dean said for years, residents in the area had been complaining that criminals used the building to carry out their illegal activity.

“We are running the criminals away,” he said.

“This is a home where police intelligence was told that weapons are often hidden. Yesterday, (Monday) we removed a weapon from here. The police moved quickly to remove this opportunity from the criminal element that exists in this area and we will continue to move through these communities.”

Owner of the property Sidney Cambridge said he is more than happy that the police have moved to clear down the lot that has been taken over by neighbourhood thugs.

“I’ve tried to take care of the property,” Mr. Cambridge said.

“This is all fenced in and there is a foundation. I had plans of putting a building there and doing some business in the area, but due to the circumstances, every time I tried to put one foot forward they come back and tear it down. So I am more than glad to see it out of the way.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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