Lights out for Bon Accord resident after attempted eviction

Terrell Percy, right. points as his family's belongings are removed from their home at Crompston Trace, Storebay Local Road, Bon Accord, Thursday. Photo by David Reid
Terrell Percy, right. points as his family's belongings are removed from their home at Crompston Trace, Storebay Local Road, Bon Accord, Thursday. Photo by David Reid

Residents of Crompston Trace, off Silk Cotton Trace in Bon Accord, say life has been difficult since an attempt was made to evict them last Thursday. Nevertheless, they say are determined to remain on their property until the court says otherwise.

Last Thursday, attempts were made to evict residents who occupy Zone D, which falls within the lands earmarked for acquisition by the State for the $1.2 billion airport expansion project.

The National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd, managers of the mega project, has set aside $300 million for land-acquisition process. China Railway Construction is the main contractor.

In an interview with Newsday on Monday, Terrell Percy whose family had their belongings removed from their house and placed at the side of the road on Thursday, said his family has no backup plan if things do not go their way.

“Right now, we’re just waiting until the (August) 26th – after the (court) matter on that day, then we would know what is really going on.”

Percy said the weekend was a difficult one for his family.

“T&TEC did not hook up back the current, so we have to use a generator; wait until like three, four hours to let it rest before we put it back on – it real stressful. We also have a water problem.”

He claimed the pressure in the pipes has been lower than usual.

Another resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Newsday: “I prefer to wait until the 26th, until then I have nothing further to add.”

Spokesperson for the Provide Equitable Compensation for Everyone (PEECE) group, Rhonda Hackett said the residents have placed everything in the hands of their lawyers.

“They are still seeking to deliberate the matter via the court. It is in the hands of the court right now.”

Attorney Christlyn Moore, who is representing the residents, said she had no comment right now.

Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe has said that six people with structures within the “controversial Zone D” have negotiated and settled ex-gratia payments with the State at a total cost of $687,000.

Last Friday, the Judiciary made it clear that there has been no injunction or stay of proceedings granted by the court in relation to any of the families affected by the airport project.

“As a result of hearings before the court on August 8 and 9, 2022, an undertaking was given by the Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries through the Attorney General of TT not to issue a warrant of possession pursuant to section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act against the occupiers and/or owners of plot number N61A, Bon Accord, Tobago, said to belong now or formerly to Joycelyn Mc Kenna, Horace Henry and others. That undertaking continues until August 26, 2022.”

At Zone A, resident Wolwyn Lovell said although he was not affected by Thursday’s action, the situation angered him.

“It is painful. Everybody down this side is sick of it right now.”

Lovell claimed he had settled with the State and was awaiting payment when allegations were made that his father had previously received payment for the same property.

Last August, Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe said Lovell’s father had received a section three notice to acquire his property on January 14, 1988 and submitted his claim for compensation on July 8, 1996.

She said Lovell's father gave him a piece of the same property in 1995.

"From August 4, 2006 his father began receiving payments/cheques for the said land," Cudjoe said.

She said Lovell's father wrote to the Commissioner of State Lands on April 16, 2008 saying that the land would be vacated within a month of receipt of the balance of payment.

Cudjoe said his father signed a receipt confirming full and final payment for the acquisition of the land on June 25, 2008, so the land should have been vacated by end of July 2008.

However, she said Lovell was now making a separate claim for a piece of the land that the State had already acquired.

“Is Shamfa mess up my thing," Lovell said, "I submitted and they gave me a receipt, I was just waiting on my cheque. I took them to court before. My hearing is scheduled for December. We cannot leave until we finish court and they pay us and so forth, but if that is the decision – we would leave."

He reiterated that he is unaware of any money paid for the property he resides on.

“I don’t know anything about that. My father never lived here – my sister lives at the back and I live at the front because the lands is divided into two. I am lot number one, and my sister is lot number two.”


"Lights out for Bon Accord resident after attempted eviction"

More in this section