Lands Reform Consultation

The following is the feedback which the Front has sent in with regards to the Lands Reform Consultation.

1) ODZ land in public hands, the coastline and all scheduled areas should be considered part of public domain and regulated by a public domain act which safeguards these lands from commercialization. Government should be refrained by law from passing public ODZ land for private projects involving construction or development.
2) Public right of passage in the countryside and the coastline should be safeguarded by law. Legal provisions should be strengthened to ensure that the coastline is not encumbered by private facilities and any if any such facilities (ex sun beds) are erected these should be reversible, temporary and available only on demand.
3) Expropriation for a public purpose must be re-defined in a way which excludes expropriation by government to hand out land to other private interests. The same should apply to termination of leases on government land. If land is being expropriated to hand land to private interests this must be done through a specific procedure. It should be become illegal for government to use this specific procedure to expropriate farm land and ODZ land. It should also become illegal for government to terminate agricultural leases to hand over land to private interests.
4) Tenancy laws should be changed to give farmers a stronger title on government owned land. Specific protection must be given against termination of agricultural leases especially in cases where these are terminated as a way to hand over agricultural land to private interests. The title should bind farmers to the farming activity.
5) All information on existing leases on public land should be accessible on-line on a map server where each plot’s ownership can be confirmed. The public has a right to know how which lands are public, which lands are under a lease and which lands are private.
6) All decisions taken by the board running the new authority should be published and available on line. Decisions regarding public land should be taken in public in the same way as the planning board. Public consultation should take place before any public land is leased or sold to private interests.
7) The Government Property division should have a clear policy with regards to planning applications on public land. Any land identified for leasing (for kiosks or other facilities) should be identified beforehand following public consultation and environment assessments. Subsequently applicants will be given the chance to apply for a planning permit on such lands. A tender would than be issued. This is to avoid present scenario which sees public tenders issued only among people who by design or co-incidence applied in particular areas.
8) A procedure should be established to enable government to expropriate private land which includes eye sores. A compensation fund administrated by the new lands authority, the environment authority and the planning authority should be established for this  purpose.
9) The government should take a stock of public lands and buildings within development zones with the aim to reduce pressure on areas which are in out of development zones. The government should then retain that such lands and buildings are available for public use.

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