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Aug 05 - Government “Sets Record Straight” Over Demolition Of Colonial Houses

The Government has said that it regrets the recent statement from the Heritage Trust that ex-MOD quarters in the south district are being bought by millionaires from abroad and are demolished with modern mansions built in their place because it has the potential to “mislead the public.”

The Government says that the Trust “fails to make the obvious point” that the colonial houses in question were all sold and demolished in the time of the previous administration and not under this one.

A statement from Number 6 continues:

Lind House and The New Aloes, for example, were specifically highlighted by the Trust as examples of colonial properties that should have been better protected. The Government agrees. However, the fact remains that these houses were put out to tender in September 2004. This is nearly ten years ago! Moreover, the demolition of Lind House was approved on 2 February 2009 and The New Aloes had already been demolished by March of that same year.

Mount Barbary and Rock Cottage were advertised for sale in in May 2006. The Demolition Permit for the full demolition of Mount Barbary was granted on 26 February 2009.

The Government therefore considers that while the Trust may have a point, they should have directed their public criticism at the Government that was in power at the time who must bear the responsibility for the issue that is now being raised many years later. Indeed, the respective demolitions were sanctioned by the Development and Planning Commission which then met in secret behind closed doors.

It is also important to recall that when the Trust has drawn to the attention of this Government heritage issues with ex-MOD properties that were about to be put out to tender, the Government has been extremely accommodating. These concerns have been safeguarded by amending the tender documents. Indeed, in one instance the concerns of the Trust relating to ex-MOD quarters were addressed within ten minutes of their being brought to the attention of the Government!

It is unfair for the impression to be given that the issue with the demolition of those colonial houses has anything to do with this Government. It was therefore important to set the record straight.