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Multiple illegal structures in Abaco shantytown will be demolished, Bannister says

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said multiple illegal structures that were erected at the Farm shantytown in Treasure Cay, Abaco, since September 2019 will be demolished in the coming days.

The action will be a part of the government’s phased plan to deal with the unregulated community, which Bannister said has flourished since the passage of Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

As he provided an update on the recent raid of that shantytown in the House of Assembly today, Bannister said following the monster storm there were only 30 structures at the Farm.

“There are a proliferation of structures now,” he said.

Bannister said the government will not demolish the buildings that were still standing following Hurricane Dorian, noting that an injunction granted by the Supreme Court in 2018 prevents such action.

“Notices were affixed to all of the structures that were erected subsequent to the passage of hurricane Dorian,” Bannister said.

“There are two types of notices. For incomplete and unoccupied structures, the notices advise that they will be demolished after 14 days in accordance with the provisions of the Planning and Subdivisions Act.

“For occupied structures, the notices advise that they will be demolished after the passage of 28 days.”

Bannister said nine commercial generators were confiscated.

“Several were being operated for commercial purposes and in contravention of the Electricity Act, with a capacity to provide electrical power to close to 200 structures,” he said.

The police also confiscated a number of generators that were believed to have been stolen.

A number of illegal bars and commercial operations were closed, and suspected un-customed goods were taken into the protective custody of customs and police officials.

The raid was an operation coordinated by the Ministry of Public Works with the assistance of and on the advice of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Bahamas Customs Department, the Department of Immigration, Bahamas Power and Light and other private sector partners.

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