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5th April 2021
Compulsory Land Purchase by the Cayman Islands Government and your Rights as a Landowner
Compulsory Land Purchase by the Cayman Islands Government and your Rights as a Landowner

by Micky Webster, Senior Surveyor

Grand Cayman has seen significant growth in its population in the past few decades and with that growth comes more and more vehicles on the roads leading to traffic congestion, commuter headaches, and the need for road expansion and development, particularly here on Grand Cayman, a 6 by 20-mile island.    

The Cayman Islands Roads Law was originally enacted in 1974 and has been amended several times since with the most recent consolidated revision as of the 12th of July 2005 which remains in effect as of this date.  The Roads Law 2005.   The determination of where Land is needed for the layout of a new public road or the widening or diverting of an existing public road, is presented to the Governor by the National Roads Authority who work directly with the Lands & Survey Department when it is declared necessary for the good of the public.    

The word ‘Compulsory’ in this context is the government’s right to essentially force a landowner to sell their land to the government; however, there are safeguards in the law that protect the landowner’s right to fair compensation when land is acquired in a compulsory action. Guide to Compulsory Purchase and Compensation under The Roads Law (2005 Revision)

The Roads Law outlines the processes by which the government must notify a property owner and publicly publish its intention to take the land, the anticipated amount of land that is to be taken per a cursory Boundary Plan as of a specific date which is referred to as the date of Gazettal. 

In turn the Roads Law outlines the processes by which an owner of land must respond to the official notification by the Lands & Survey Department with a two-part process:

  • The first is a filing of Form A, Notice of Intention to Make a Claim for Compensation.  After a property is properly publicly gazetted and an owner is notified, the Notice of Intention to Make a Claim for Compensation must be filed within 90 days.

  • The second is a filing of Form B which can be filed any time after Form A is filed but no later than one year after the new road is open to the public.   Form B outlines the actual financial consequences of the land take, if any, in what are referred to as Heads of Claim.

In the determination of the amount of the claim for compensation falls under various categories or what are referred to as Heads of Claim.  The Heads of Claim include Fair Market Value of land taken as of the date of gazettal, Injurious Affection to the retained land or Severance from the retained land and in some instances, a combination of both per case law.  Additional Heads of Claim include Disturbance, Loss Consequence of Land Taken, Professional Fees and Direct Costs of Compliance.  Each of the Heads of Claim are wide ranging and cover an array of variables that may affect a parcel of land.  In some instances, the government may elect to purchase an entire parcel whether vacant raw land or with existing improvements.

By way of example one of our most recent settled cases involved an approximate CI$6,000 figure paid to the property owner for the fair market value of the land that was taken and an additional CI$56,000 for the Injurious Affection to the retained land.

It is a complicated area of Law that requires significant experience and knowledge of land and compensation values and the ability to negotiate sound settlements, particularly given that such negotiations generally take place after the land has been taken.

Bould Consulting’s compulsory purchase team, which includes world class legal support, brings many years of experience both in the Caribbean and globally to ensure you are well represented to achieve a fair settlement for what has been taken from you.

Call us now for a no obligation consultation.

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