Wed | Dec 7, 2022

Demolition of illegal homes in Portmore under way, resident laments $800K loss

Published:Thursday | October 6, 2022 | 8:55 AM
Residents watch as structures are demolished on the outskirts of the community of Clifton in Portmore, St Catherine on October 6, 2022. - Ricardo Makyn photo
-Ricardo Makyn photo
-Ricardo Makyn photo
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The demolition of informal settlement on the outskirts of Clifton in Portmore, St Catherine is under way with a significant security presence. 

The Bernard Lodge main road is cordoned and several motorists are forced to use alternative routes.

The activity is taking place under the watchful eye of a SWAT police team. A Jamaica Defence Force helicopter hovered. 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the planned demolition in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

He said a criminal gang had captured lands near Clifton and was reselling plots fraudulently. 

He said the lands, which fall within the Government's Greater Bernard Lodge Development Plan, will be formalised and owners given titles. 

The residents, some of whom have been living on the land which forms part of the Bernard Lodge property for more than 15 years, told The Gleaner that they will be homeless after the demolition is carried out because they have nowhere to go.

The residents said they paid large sums of money for the lots they now occupy.

"I did not move here just like that. Most of us paid a lot of money for where we now live," said one resident, who asked not to be identified Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, one claimed she paid $800,000 for her lot.

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