By CHARLEY PIRINGI
A PLOT of land located between the RAMSI Memorial Park and the Children’s Park at Rove that is currently at the centre of public debate is likely to become part of the children’s park soon.
Initially allocated to senior citizen Leslie Teama, the Land Board forfeited the title in November 2016 after Mr Teama failed to develop it as required under the Lands & Titles Act.
Mr Teama was reportedly unaware of the Land Board decision until this month when he was ordered to stop the excavation work he was doing on the site.
Solomon Enviro Beautification (SEB), a charity established to beautify the city, has expressed its interest in turning that plot to become part of the Children’s Park.
SEB chairperson Keithie Saunders said they’ve expressed their interest to the Commissioner of Lands.
“SEB was advised of the forfeiture,” Mrs Saunders, who is also the United States Consul in Solomon Islands, said.
“And SEB applied to the Lands Commissioner for the land as an extension of the children’s park – one of the few spaces in the city for families to enjoy,” she added.
In its decision to forfeit the title, the Land Board wants the piece of land to be reallocated for public use.
In email exchanges the Solomon Star cited about the plot of land, an official of the Ministry of Land Tuesday this week visited the site and met Mr Teama and his workers clearing up the site
Mr Teama was told he no longer has the title to the land, and that the work he’s doing must be stopped at once.
Mr Teama told the official that this was the first time he heard of the forfeiture of his land title.
He said he’d heard rumours only about this, and had written letters to the Commissioner of Lands dated 4 and 8 January 2018 and had seen the Commissioner those same days.
And he claimed the Commissioner mentioned nothing about the forfeiture.
He subsequently feels he’s been denied his rights to appeal.
But the official told Mr Teama since the land register had now been changed, his right of appeal has lapsed.
But he could see a lawyer to see if he has any other legal avenues.
It’s understood this plot (parcel 191-011-0085) was one of many forfeited by the Land Board because title holders failed to develop them.
City Clerk Charles Kelly said the decision to forfeit the land was made by the Land Board.
“It’s a Land Board decision, but yes, Honiara needs recreational areas, and the idea of the extension of the Children’s park would be great,” Mr Kelly said.