Log In

Reset Password

CoI: woman was granted right of way after land sale, but access was blocked

Carol Clarke (File photograph)

The grandchildren of a woman who sold land to the Government under a compulsory purchase order to create the playing field of Francis Patton School said she lost access to other land as a result.

Charles and Carol Clarke, a brother and sister, were speaking on behalf of their late grandmother Agatha Burgess at the Commission of Inquiry for Historic Land Losses.

The commission heard that Ms Burgess was successful in a request that she retain access to part of the land on North Shore Road, Hamilton Parish, so she could access her land on the ocean side.

But the right-of-way she was granted was blocked off by the Government.

The Attorney General of the day wrote to the then Director of Public Works in May 1956 to approve the access request.

He said in the letter: “Mrs Burgess obviously must be granted a right of way to get to her land.

“It could, and perhaps should have been done, at the time of the conveyance of the land to Government by way of a reservation and I suggest that such a reservation should now be endorsed on the conveyance.”

Mr Clarke presented a letter written by his brother-in-law Cyril Whitter for submission to the inquiry.

Mr Whitter wrote: “A wall and fence were erected by the Bermuda Government blocking access from the property at 185 North Shore Road. This wall and fence continue to block access today.”

Ms Clarke said: “Unfortunately, Agatha was ridiculed by having most of her land acquired by compulsory purchase under acts of government statutes, namely the Public Works Department Act, 1930 and the Acquisition of Land Act, 1941.

“This compulsory conveyance states that she was paid 1,000 pounds cash with a transfer of 0.150 acres of roadside property to the east.

“Moreover, see correspondence between Agatha Burgess and the Government of Bermuda concerning a request and granting of a right-of-way by foot.

“This has been blocked for a length of time by fencing … and in actual fact the Francis Patton lower school is built on the property boundary and right through the right-of-way itself.”

Mr and Ms Clarke are scheduled to deliver further submissions to the Commission.

The Commission also heard from Catherine Howard, who told the inquiry that her late grandfather Henry North, a government MP for 40 years, may have been forced to sell land under false pretences.

Ms Howard said: “Apparently, my grandfather was forced to sell Pink Beach by the government and he sold it, I think, believing it was in the national interest and then it was turned around and sold again to a foreign developer.

“My mother said that he was very distressed because he didn’t want to sell it but he was forced to sell it and he was never given the option to buy it again.

“He got very distressed by that. He felt double-crossed by colleagues of his in the Government.”

The Commission of Inquiry continues.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 25, 2020 at 9:15 am (Updated November 25, 2020 at 9:13 am)

CoI: woman was granted right of way after land sale, but access was blocked

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon