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Duke storms housing project
Public Services Association (PSA) president, Watson Duke, and members of the union are now facing a $150 million lawsuit for allegedly trespassing on the luxury housing development, La Fortresse, at Long Circular Road, St James. On Friday, Duke and members of the PSA executive, accompanied by some six police officers, entered the development, which is 75 per cent complete, and took possession of it. Some 83 units, costing between $1.8 million and $2.8 million each, have already been sold and homeowners are scheduled to move in by June.
“The land belongs to us,” Duke told the T&T Guardian. The six acres of land were reportedly leased to the PSA by the Government in 1999. La Fortresse, comprising 93 housing units, is being built by the DTL Property Developers Limited. DTL general manager, Francis Delpesh, told the T&T Guardian they had a 2003 contract with the PSA under former president, Jennifer Baptiste-Primus vesting the land to La Fortresse. He said the housing project started in 2006 and, according to the contract, the company was supposed to give the PSA $40 million on completion.
The PSA would have further benefited by setting up a company to do maintenance of the development, Delpesh said. Donna Prowell-Raphael, attorney for DTL, claimed Duke entered the premises because he made certain demands. She said the company could not fulfil these demands until completion of the project and the sale of the units. Prowell-Raphael sent a pre-action protocol letter to the PSA Friday afternoon for injunctive relief for breach of contract and trespass.
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