The piece of property in question on Mandela Avenue.
A project to construct a gas station and fast food outlet on a piece of land on Mandela Avenue is now in limbo.
The land was first leased by the Mayor of City Councillors of Georgetown. That same land was later leased to the same businessman by the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission.
A few days ago, another state agency, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) ordered that works be halted on the land because the construction works contravened the Town and Country Planning Act.
Yesterday, the businessman, Shamnarine Narine, made it clear that it is becoming more and more difficult to do business in Guyana.
He was supposed to spend at least $65M to develop his project on the quarter of acre plot located at Shirley Field Ridley Square.
It was explained that in 2016, the M&CC approved a commercial lease agreement for the land to be developed to the businessman with the fee to be $432,000 annually.
However, it appears that the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission insisted that land was not M&CC’s.
On the 29th March, 2017, Commissioner Trevor Benn granted permission for the developer to occupy that piece of Government land which is located on a portion of the industrial reserve, in Ruimveldt.
It was agreed that the annual rent of $250,000 per annum would be charged.
It appeared in August that the Lands and Survey decided to sell.
The developer paid over $4.5M to the Lands and Survey Commission.
On October 5th, 2018, CH&PA officials served notice on workers at the site, to halt construction.
The same day, Lands and Surveys’ Commissioner Trevor Benn notified Narine in a separate correspondence of an intention to repossess the land.
The Commission said it intends to refund the businessman any monies he may have paid.
According to the businessman, there were several things that were wrong.
CH&PA initially gave permission for the construction of a fast food outlet and mini-mart. However, there were questions about the entrance of the gas station. It was advised that another entrance, other than Mandela Avenue, be used.
“We found that we could use Plumbago Drive and we went ahead. Now this. We have spent significant monies and received permission at various levels. How can we invest when it is things like this that we are faced with?”
The businessman said he is now contemplating his options.