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City Corp moves into Westmoorings land
The Port-of-Spain City Corporation yesterday moved to take possession of the controversial 23-acre parcel of land opposite West Mall in Westmoorings. Last month, the corporation scored a legal victory against the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) over ownership. In a 20-page judgment delivered in the Port-of-Spain High Court, Justice Carol Gobin ruled the disputed land had been in the continuous and undisturbed possession of the corporation since the 1980s.
Yesterday, Mayor Louis Lee Sing said the matter was before the Court of Appeal and the corporation would prevail. He said WASA had been given a 21-day stay, which was terminated last Friday. Although the matter was still before the Court of Appeal, corporation workers took down all the WASA signs on the property and used a bolt-cutter to cut a chain fencing the front.
Two large signs reading, “Property of the Port-of-Spain Corporation: proposed site for West Park Savannah” were placed on the land. Approximately three dozen neighbouring residents braved the hot sun for several hours as they waited for Lee Sing. MP for Diego Martin Central Dr Amery Browne, who was said to have been scheduled to address the residents, did not attend.
One of the residents, Stuart Dalgliesh, presented Lee Sing with an artist’s interpretation of how the property could be developed. The picture displayed a volleyball court, tennis courts, a rugby field, other playing fields and a pavilion. Lee Sing then addressed the residents, who applauded at intervals. He told the group the corporation would not wait but go ahead with a definitive plan for the property and would even invite WASA to have an input in its usage.
Lee Sing criticised residents who he said failed to support Woodbrook and St James traffic plan several months ago. “The traffic plan was designed for not just St James or Woodbrook. I was conscious of the 100,000 people from Patna and River Estate and Blue Basin, Diamond Vale and Richplain, Westmoorings, Carenage and Bayshore.
“The plan was to take people in and out of the city faster and only 40 people protested in St James and they trumped you all. “I am not insulting anyone, but the time has come when we stand up for what society we want.” Lee Sing said the corporation had put up signs on the property to show it belonged to the city of Port-of-Spain.
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