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Crown Land Review Published for Public Consumption



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, December 12, 2022 – The joint review on Crown Land is now available for islanders to read and assess the recommendations that will eventually be instituted into TCI law.  UK representative Zach Goldsmith, described the new joint report as ‘practical and well-considered’ according to a release by the Premier’s office on the weekend.

The 300 page document created by R Donhue Gardiner, attorney at law and Professor Simon Cooper culminated in 146 recommendations which were agreed to by both governments.

The first 10 recommendations of the review focus on what Crown Land should be used for and how it should be allocated to individuals and businesses, doing away with the lottery system as promised by Premier Washington Misick.

The government has agreed to earmark crown land for certain policy mandated purposes with the first and foremost purpose being for creating residential properties, only after this will properties be able to be earmarked for sale or lease otherwise.

It has agreed to emphasise and prioritise the housing development options, instead of individual developments; these residential properties must be available to residents by lease freehold lease or license.  TCIG  will have explicit power to develop any affordable housing, low-rent housing, social housing and emergency shelter on crown land and must take steps to ensure any land allocated for this purpose is used for this alone.

In terms of properties or land sales there will be a points system and waiting list except in cases of short leases, in that case the recommendations stipulate that a needs based system with an appropriate application process will apply.

The merits of any public private partnerships must be actively investigated and potential demand for Crown land by the Crown Land Unit be undertaken on an island-by-island basis; new islander discounts are also included in the document.

Recommendations 11-21 deal with mortgages and stamp duties as well as other necessities to help residents acquire the designated crown land and Conditional Purchase Leases.

Residents will now pay taxes on undeveloped land to “encourage residential development”.  Single families will be encouraged to live in residential areas as the government prioritises turnkey housing, particularly multi-family and multi-unit housing, sets higher density zoning for residential Crown land and exercising restraint in the size of undeveloped residential Crown land plots that are offered for a single-family house.

The discount on undeveloped land for islanders will be increased to 50 percent; TCIG will encourage mortgage lenders to offer residents with good credit standing preferential loans and institute stamp duty waivers and deferrals for first time buyers and units to institute them.

There will be no more Conditional Purchase Leases which formerly allowed residents to hold a property for three years instead turnkey housing will be the priority for those people still unable to afford undeveloped land even with the benefit of the Islander discount. And any current conditional leases must expire no later than two years after the new reforms come into force.

In terms of expired CPLs residents with successful applications to purchase CPL’s will have any rent arrears removed additionally, coming in the future, a scheme for employer obligations to provide housing.

The joint review, with 126 more recommendations, was commissioned by the UK and the TCI to address issues with crown land for the benefit of TCI residents and is now available for all residents to read here.


Tim and Henry to the Rescue: A Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Highlights Need for Marine Vessel in Grand Turk



#TurksandCaicos, July 12, 2024 – At approximately 2:45 pm on July 12th, a 911 emergency call came in from the police department in Grand Turk, informing Ed Forbes of a distressing situation. Four young adult tourists had gone out on paddle boards off Cork Tree Beach in Grand Turk, when one of them fell off the board and could not get back on. Evidently, they underestimated the wind speed and their own brute strength.

Ed Forbes, co-owner of Exclusive Escapes Grand Turk, played a pivotal role in coordinating the rescue. Responding swiftly to the emergency call, he immediately reached out to the local search and rescue team. His prompt actions and calm demeanor were instrumental in mobilizing the necessary resources.

Within 20 minutes or so, Tim from Emerald Escapes, along with Henry and Kindry from Blue Water Divers, were on the scene. Their experience and swift response were crucial in ensuring the safety of the stranded paddleboarders. Working seamlessly together, they managed to locate and rescue all four individuals without any need for medical attention.

However, this incident also underscores a critical issue that has long plagued Grand Turk: the need for a dedicated marine vessel for search and rescue operations and cruise passengers incidents. Despite numerous promises made to concerned citizens over the years, this vital resource remains unavailable.

The swift response of Tim, Henry, and Kingdry highlights the community’s resilience and dedication, but it also brings to light the gaps in emergency preparedness that could be addressed with better equipment and support.

A dedicated marine vessel would significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of rescue operations, ensuring that responses to such emergencies are even more effective.

Ed Forbes
Concerned Citizen

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Invest TCI Opens New Office in Grand Turk





Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 11th, 2024—Invest Turks and Caicos Islands (Invest TCI) proudly announces the launch of its new office in Grand Turk, located at the Digicel Building on Old Airport Road. The grand opening of the new location occurred on Friday, July 5th, 2024, under the theme “Empowering Enterprises in the Capital.”

The establishment of the new office marks a significant milestone in Invest TCI’s growth strategy. The primary objective of the expansion is to provide enhanced services and support to the business community in Grand Turk. By increasing operational capacity, Invest TCI aims to facilitate sustained growth and success for enterprises within the country.  Beyond economic advancement, this initiative is set to yield substantial community benefits, including the creation of employment opportunities.

The grand opening ceremony attracted a diverse range of attendees, including recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme, members of the business community, government officials, and Invest TCI staff. The event was moderated by Mr. Keno Forbes, Vice President of Investor Services. Special remarks were delivered by the Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, who congratulated the InvestTCI team on their hard work and encouraged the community to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additional remarks were provided by Invest TCI Chairperson, Ms. Cindy Ewing; Business Advisor, Ms. Lashena Simmons; Director of the Business Support Unit, Mrs. Anissa Adderley; and Vice President of SME, Ms. Alexa Cooper. Their contributions highlighted the collaborative effort and dedication that have driven the success of Invest TCI initiatives.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new office, Invest TCI CEO, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, stated, “Our vision is clear and compelling: to further empower Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, the agency offers incentives and support that enable more efficient and innovative practices. We are committed to helping businesses thrive, and in doing so, we are helping our entire community.”

Invest TCI recognizes the integral role that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises play in the economic and social development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its Business Support Unit, the agency provides comprehensive support services to startups and existing entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the tools and resources to succeed.

The grand opening of the new office in Grand Turk represents a significant step forward in Invest TCI’s mission to support and empower businesses across the islands. The agency looks forward to fostering economic growth and development and ensuring a prosperous future for all.

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(Thursday, July 11th, 2024) Turk and Caicos Islands – The last of five American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for being in unlawful possession of  ammunition could finally leave the TCI today, Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Sharitta Grier 46 pleaded guilty on 25th June to having two rounds of.38 ammunition in her bags, at the Howard Hamilton International Airport in Providenciales on Monday 13th May, 2024, when leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands after a surprised Mother’s Day vacation trip, from her daughters.

Her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson agreed with senior defense counsel, Ms. Sheena Mair of F-Chambers that there are exceptional circumstancés in Grier’s case, by this, the court departed from the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment and ordered a lighter sentence of $1500.00 or Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid. She’s also sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.

Holding for the office of the Director of Public Prosecution via link was Dr. Angela Terry Brooks, deputy director of the DPP’S office.

The prosecution office did oppose exceptional circumstances and invited the court to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment.

A more detailed court report will follow.

Wilkie Arthur
Court Correspondent
Eagle Legal News Media

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