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FLP digs land issue

Avinesh Gopal
Thursday, June 12, 2014

THE Fiji Labour Party has raised concerns on the issuance of a development lease to a foreign-owned company.

In a letter to the Director of Lands on June 3, the FLP said the land on which development was being carried out was currently zoned for civic development.

As such, FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said any development on the land at Sawau Rd in Bayview Heights, Suva needed to be for civic purposes.

"However, the ongoing construction works on the site look more like a commercial/light industrial development. A visit disclosed that substantial structures are being constructed on the subject land," he wrote.

Chaudhry said the Suva City Council had confirmed approval had not been granted for the building and engineering plans submitted by the company for the construction work being carried out.

"I have been informed that the company has applied for rezoning of the subject land for commercial use. However, this was not approved by the Suva City Council in view of strong objections from residents of the area."

He said since the rezoning and building plans had not been approved, the ongoing works at the site were illegal.

"As you are aware, any State land intended to be leased out for residential, commercial or industrial development needs to be advertised to call for expressions of interest from members of the public," he wrote in the letter.

Chaudhry asked the director of lands to reveal how and from when the land was leased out, how much it was leased out for, whether any premium payment was required and how was the development allowed to proceed without proper approvals.

Acting director of lands, Preetika Prasad was yet to respond to queries sent to her last Tuesday and a reminder on Friday when this edition went to press last night.

SCC's acting CEO, Bijay Chand could not be reached for comments yesterday.

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