The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Botanical Gardens, the Building Blocks programme and the home of Barbados’ first female MP, are all in line for improvements after Government acquired land, said Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance Dr William Duguid.
As he laid four resolutions before Parliament, Dr Duguid explained: “The first one, the Housing Resolution for Martindale’s Road is essentially so the Queen Elizabeth Hospital will get access to these lands to be able provide for some parking facilities. It is a resolution that will be for 52,373 square metres and 12,823 square metres respectively, to be leased to the QEH and has been certified by the Attorney General.
“The Accident and Emergency Department is building a new construction on where a lot of the parking for the QEH has taken place in the past and people are in fact parking on this land already, so the Government has made the decision that we should regularize this matter and lease this land appropriately so that the QEH will be able to have access to this land.”
Another resolution for the Botanical Gardens acquires 13 parcels of land at Friendship, St Michael for public purpose. The size of the lands range from 1,000 square metres to 5,500 hectares.
“This is essentially so that we can continue the infrastructure of the Botanical Gardens,” said the minister for lands.
“We’ve already started work at the Botanical Gardens and this continues to make that larger area available so that we can develop a large green space in the St Michael, St George area so that people would be able to access these lands to be able to recreate.”
The third land acquisition was “a small piece” of 358 square metres in Bush Hall Yard Gap, St Michael, to acquire a location for kiosks as part of Government’s Building Blocks programme.
As part of the programme kiosks will be built and rented out to allow young people to start their own businesses, the minister said.
Dr Duguid said that land did not belong to the Crown and was valued at $69,300.
The minister said the former property of Dame Edna Ermytrude Bourne in Belleplaine, St Andrew, would also be spruced up.
Dame “Ermie” was the first woman to be elected to the House of Assembly in 1951.
Dr Duguid said: “What we are hoping to do is to acquire this and make it then available to be held as a historic site and to be available for people of Barbados in recognition of the contribution she has made to Barbados and to have her house become part of the national heritage of Barbados and to preserve her legacy.”
One of Parliament’s Committee Rooms has also been named after her.