11 September, 2007


We Will All Benefit from these Projects! I had always understood that one of the excuses for permitting hotel development on our Island was the consequential improvements that would come to the lives of Anguillians. These improvements were not only to be jobs in the hotels. We were going to benefit from ownership, if not of major hotels, then of the smaller ancillary services that add on to the tourist industry. So, we would own the car rentals, the water sports, the tour operations, the restaurants, and the rental apartments. I am particularly concerned about the rental apartments. We were told that, with the expansion in the hotels expected over the coming five years, there will be a need for lower to middle income housing for hotel staff.

The most expensive of the local investment initiatives has been the property development business. Ministers of government have challenged us to go into property development to take advantage of the coming boom. Young men and women have gone to the banks and mortgaged their properties to build apartments for rent. Rental apartments have been going up all over the island. The success of this endeavour depends on the apartments producing the income that will pay the mortgages. Few Anguillians have the income or the capital to afford to put up these apartments without borrowing.

If Anguillians cannot rent out these new apartments, they will lose them. In particular, if the major hotels are permitted to own their own rental apartments, then the many Anguillians who have taken up the challenge will be the losers. Their apartments will not be able to compete. They will remain empty. Anguillians will be deprived of their opportunity to benefit from the coming tourism boom. They will be unable to pay their bank loans. They will lose their properties, which will then be bought at distressed prices by the hotels to use for their staff.

Now, I hear that some of the major hotel developers on Anguilla have been given Aliens Landholding Licences to purchase land to put up apartments for their staff. The word I have is that one investor in particular has purchased land in the area of the West End Gas Station, but on the opposite side of the road. They plan to put up a hundred staff apartments on it. The Planning Department would have had to approve this project. Cabinet would have had to grant the licence. There has been no public announcement or explanation.

What, I ask, is the meaning of this? If it is true, then why has there been no debate in the community about this development? Is no one concerned?


  1. Mr. Mitchell: a point ancillary to your observations--why does the Land Development Control Committee no longer post its minutes as it once did at www.gov.ai/planning? It was a means of knowing: 1) who was making applications; 2) for what parcels of land; 3) what they proposed to do; and 4) what the committee was approving.

    It is a shame that such transparency has ceased.

  2. It is equally a shame that "The Anguillian" thinks it's more important to run advertorials from Cable & Worthless and Digicel than important material such as the LDCC agenda.

    It is an insult to the memories and courage of the late Atlin Harrigan and Rev. Leonard Carty that the freedom of the press they fought for is now regarded as a way to make money and be nice to everyone.

  3. Part of the problem is that we are being bombarded with so mucha words, and so much of it is either misinformation, disinformation or outright lies, that one must be an expert student of local politics to know what to believe. Normal people, unlike myself, are working two jobs and have no time for that. By default, we leave it to the politicians.

    For example, Viceroy will have 262 rooms in the rental pool at Barnes Bay and full five-star hotel services including private and communal swimming pools, a fitness centre, tennis courts, a spa and a beach club offering sailing, diving and snorkelling. Gourmet and casual dining will be on offer, as well as a sunset bar, poolside cabanas, meeting rooms and a full concierge service. There are other issues with Viceroy but let's stay on point here. Viceroy is clearly a hotel.

    Some large hotels in St. Maarten and elsewhere are large multi-story buildings resembling penitentiaries. Others, such as Mariners or Cap Juluca, are composed of many smaller buildings. These are still hotels. Some, like Carimar, are condos, each owned by individual owners. This is simply a financing method; Carimar is still a hotel. If Cap Juluca's units were each owned by a separate investor and everything else remained the same, would it no longer be a hotel?

    Hubert, who has a responsibility to provide both reliable information and moral leadership, was on To The Point last night, and announced that Viceroy is a collection of private villas for rich people and there will be no hotel there. This is disgusting populism appealing to the ignorance of the uninformed. Attacking Viceroy gets votes. Truth no longer matters.

    In such a climate, is it any wonder that most people feel so alienated from our representatives that the majority of people have given up and don't even care any more?

  4. Mr. Mitchell: it doesn't really matter what rules or laws are in place. There is always a way to get around them.Just like for developing tourism projects, an Anguillian can become a front and allow foreigners in the background who really control the strings to make all the decfisions, so could they use the same method in building apartments. Until the local mafia decides that they don't want to profit from fronting foreign establishments and confer their born rights to foreign developers, restaurant and business owners, there is little that can be done legally. Most systems are designed without proper thoought, ort maybe with that forethought in mind, to be able to be circumvented by loopholes.Happens the world over and also here in little Anguilla. Until Anguillians DEMAND accountability across the board there will be little change. Again it is human nature to try to take advantage of any situation. It is only the few moral and upstanding citizens that can resist the temptations and lead by example.

  5. Anonymous post @September 11, 2007 9:47 AM

    You are most correct. Politicians have always used misinformation to sway public opinion. Mr.Hughes needs to stop coming on air and only talking about blame. If he has an alternative solution and plan he should lets us know. I am tired of Talk SHow callers who are caught up in blaming and accusing. We must accept that all the elected members are now irrelevant and we only need to hear from people with ideas, solutions and can provide us with informed advice and opinions.

    Anguillians we must begin to address our problems with a well laid out plan of action. Developers who do not abide by laws are only creating a situation that happens in most developing countries when there is a change in government. They will run the rish of having that property appropriated.

    Finally, ANguillians who serve on Committees must have morals and ethical beliefs. NO way could I serve on a Committee and see developers abusing the coastland of Anguilla without regards to the implication of their disregard for the environment. And no way could I serve on a Committe where politicians constantly do not follow the statutes. Anguilla needs strong men and women who understand the rules of procedure. WHo are these experts siitign back and keeping quiet because they have bills to pay? No politician can by pass a department Head if that Department Head has documented their reasons for why something is not approved. Until they do that, the Politicians will always pass the blame around.

  6. I respectfully disagree with the above poster who says it doesn't matter what laws are in place because some will find a way around them. This is like saying we shouldn't bother to regulate people's driving habits, because some will still drive too fast. But because some are caught and fined, I drive slower because I don't want to be caught. The law hasn't solved the entire problem for everyone but it's helped a whole lot.

    A lot of men hate their wives, but most of them don't resort to murder to be rid of them. What deters them? Their belief in the Ten Commandments or their fear of getting caught and spending the rest of their lives with Andy Otto as their roommate?

    We have two separate problems in Anguilla. We don't have sufficient modern laws against public and private corruption. And when someone is caught and convicted, there is insufficient disincentive for the rest of us because we have a newspaper editor who seems unwilling to embarrass anyone who's not a murderer or rapist.

  7. Six years ago, I tried to encourage a group of Anguillians to lets get involve in the apartment rental business. This was to raise money so we could build affordable apartments for people living and working on Anguilla. It was clear to me that we had a severe housing shortage. Also with the number of planned development, I also saw the need for apartments for immigrant workers. No one was looking at where the foreign Asian and Mexican workers would be housed. Each person wanted a Villa loan.

    Although, I'm very frustrated that foreign developers may be allowed to get in the local rental market, in the long run this may be the shake up that Angullians need. We all like to sit back and do what the other man is doing. And as soon as someone else start something, we all in it. There is nothing stopping us from forming partnerships and building rental apartments. But every man wants to build his own little thing on his lot of land. I would not be amaze if these devleopers easily put up 50 - 100 rental apartments on an acre of land utilizing every piece of of available space. Perhaps they may even have a laundry mat on site with retail business space for rental. This is what they do in the surburbs of America and Cayman Islands. Our people really needs to think big.

    Apartments rentals on this island is very overpriced, so if these developers can get in and provide housing units for immigrant workers and others, the price will have to come down. Also with all the other immigrant workers coming to Anguilla, there will be no need to ship them over to SXM during pending hurricanes. My people try and find others who you can trust and start making investments. We all cannot cater for the high end tourists. Lots of money to be made in other areas on Anguilla.

    Hopefully, they will not build apartments that look like public housing ghettos in the rest of the caribbean. Next thing you know, we have more riots in the place.

  8. We do have a serious situation developing on the island,however ,everyone seem ready to lay blame on politicians and any other person they can find.It is our responsiblity to protect what is rightfully our'Anguilla' but we seem to be having a difficult time doing this.We have a duty to act in the interest of what good and decent for the continued growth and improvement of our country.There are lwas and statutes in place ,albeit not enough,to tackle these problems but like one of the previous posters we sit back,complain and refuse to undertake any meaningful action to rectify our problems.When we give up and rely on others ,the big chain hoteliers will win.We should never be afraid to act responsibly to eradicate corruption,dishonestyand bad policy.if this continues we as Anguillians will be left out of the development process and religated to a society where individual ownership,and local partnerships in most of the services catering to the tourism sector are non exsistent.Where is the pride in our people,where is the fire that was exhibited inthose early years when we had to fight for the right to chart our own destiny?Please dont sit back and allow some hustler politician or developer pull a fast one on us.Our revolutionary learders fought long ,hard and courageous to give this right to us yet we seem content to let it all slip away.Please Anguillians stand up and work together like we did in the days of the 'Revolution'if for nothing else make a stand for the legacy of these decent Anguillians who sacrificed so much.Anguilla is all we have so dont be blindsided by crafty operators who are bent on relieving us of our birth right and making us as spectators and consumers in our country.

  9. I am not going to contribute to a cooperative venture with other Anguillians until the NICA mess is resolved. I contributed before, it was a total failure, those responsible for what appears to have been fraud and theft have been allowed to escape responsibility and all we've seen for years is broken promises.

    I am very pleased to learn this morning that real action is being taken to resolve this mess. When I get my NICA money back and those who did that to us are brought to justice, I'll talk about contributing to a new cooperative adventure.

  10. No one is talking about a corporative venture with a group of ANguillians. My post was about 4 or 5 Anguillians friends or asscoiates coming together and investing. Not all investment opportunities in ANguilla require it to be open to public ventures like ANTIL or NICa. WHat about partnerships agreements etc. Get people who you can trust and get along with. Of course soem ventures will require public saheholders. Research different companies structures and don't be discourage.

  11. I agree with the previous poster ,that no one is taking about partnership or associations.It seems that we are skeptical of such ventures because we have been for so long mainly an economy based on sole proprietoryship.We as Anguillians have yet to adapt to the idea that such associations can be much more rewarding and financially sound.The benefits are tremendous if these relationship are properly organised.I am for such ventures being initiated by and for local investors but the idea is a hard sell to poelpe who are so accustomed to being their own bosses.I sincerely hope that this mentality will change soon for our future and security will depend on it when we are up against multi billion dollar empires bent on absorbing our little enterprised into their portfolios.They will have the capitol,and expertise to launch a massive attack that will cripple our economyand society.Taking this stance will protect our individual wealth for being taken in cases of lwas suits etc.
    Government should encourage and support the formation of such entities because of future is at stake.Why rely soley on foriegn investors to do this.When they decide to pull out(and with all their money) what will we be left with?I tell you an island with lots of empty buildings aus with no money to convert them into viable businesses.

  12. I would never forget that a group of ANguillians wanted to purchase the land at Sandy Hill bay to build seaside apartments. But 2 persons were afraid to invest a 10,000 in the venture. And because of 2 persons we were not able to pay th eland owners for the property. Gues what a group of I believe itlaians did the samethign we wnat to do and raise the money with friends and family.

    Today those same friends remind me of how they really regret not getting involve on that deal. I doubt if land will sell that cheap again in AXa. But we must not give up.

    Sandy Hill beach Club has gone on to make back much more than they ever invested initially.


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