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We own disputed land, says Mammee Bay Resorts

Published:Thursday | August 20, 2020 | 12:15 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

Mammee Bay Resorts Limited says it owns the 29-acre property in St Ann that members of the Steer Town and Mammee Bay Fishing and Recreation Association Limited are claiming belongs to them.

Vice-president of the fishermen’s association, Ricardo Henry, told The Gleaner on Sunday that the fishermen have occupied the land since the 1980s.

Neither Mammee Bay Resorts Limited nor the Steer Town and Mammee Bay Fishing and Recreation Association Limited has provided documentary evidence of ownership of the property.

In a press statement Wednesday afternoon, Mammee Bay Resorts disputed Henry’s assertion.

“The property is currently owned by Mammee Bay Resorts Limited, who refutes all claims challenging ownership of the Mammee Bay property. Furthermore, the management of Mammee Bay Resorts Limited is highly disturbed by media reports making various claims that have no legitimate foundation and that are challenging ownership of the Mammee Bay property,” the statement said.

The property was acquired on December 4, 1996, Mammee Bay Resorts said.

The Companies Office of Jamaica lists Lyttleton Shirley and Madge Shirley as directors of Mammee Bay Resorts Limited. Contacted 0n Wednesday, Mr Shirley said that he was in a meeting and requested The Gleaner to call back afterwards.

The company said that squatters who occupied the land then were evicted, but after negotiations, craft vendors were later allowed access to the land to sell their products to tourists at the former Sandals Dunn’s River Hotel.

The new owners of the property are now ready to begin their $45-billion development, Mammee Bay Resorts said, “and, therefore, we are requesting that they (the craft vendors) desist from all trading and remove their temporary structures”.

The company said that it agreed to make an ex gratia payment to 26 craft vendors whose names were submitted to us by the president of the association. An offer of $100,000 was accepted for the removal of fixtures.

Mammee Bay Resorts said that a request for a meeting from fishermen who later occupied the property was granted in July, where Henry asked for $20 million for assistance.