Takoradi landlords fight STMA, Lands Commission over 'illegal' land leasing
Some landlords in Takoradi, who have given out lands from the PTC Roundabout to the Vodafone area, are angry with city authorities and the Lands Commission over attempts to lease out a parcel of land that serves as access route to some companies operating in the area known as the (Kasuarina belt).
At a news conference in Takoradi on Wednesday, the Landlords who were represented by Lawyer Seth Awuku from the Animens Chambers as their Spokesperson said neither were the Landlords consulted by the Lands Commission nor the Town and Country Planning before the rezoning of the said piece of land.
According to the Landlords, if that piece of land is given out, the existing companies in that enclave, namely, Seaweld Engineering, ENI, Seethi Brothers, Mantrac Group, Takoradi Floor Mills and Mabani& Mitsubishi Group, will be practically denied access to their properties.
They also warned that it could put the existing buildings in danger in case of a fire outbreak and will also hamper a possible expansion of that stretch of road (the PTC road) in the near future.
According to Lawyer Seth Awuku, private security personnel serving the companies in the area had to drive out some surveyors who were found carrying out a scheme and demarcating the lands in front of the companies.
The surveyors were then warned not to return again except with permission from the Lands Commission. Lawyer Seth Awuku questioned why the Lands Commission and the Town and Country Planning could unilaterally sell out lands in the Kasuarina belt without prior notification to the landlords for them to make their input.
He stated that the action clearly contradicts section 10 of the Town and Country Planning Act which provides that land or building owners must at any point in time be given adequate prior notice and be involved in any decision to carry out a scheme that will ostensibly affect them.
“Therefore companies in the Kasuarina Belt call upon the Lands Commission to cease and desist from the sale and transfer of lands in the Kasuarina belt, so that over 300 jobs in the city can be saved, so that when there is a fire outbreak, lives and properties can be protected. The city of Takoradi should not be turned into an unplanned and overcrowded settlement,” Lawyer Awuku appealed.
It is not clear which companies are buying out the supposed half plot in question. But reports suggest automobile company Hyundai, is one of the firms. One of the landlords in the person of Bishop Reginald Ofori Twumasi says they will advise themselves if their calls are ignored. The Lands Commission and City authorities have so far remained silent on the issue.
There has been a massive scramble for lands in the Western Region particularly in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis since commercial oil production started.
Story by Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/Radio Maxx/Takoradi