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Land deal drawn up for luxury hotel

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Plans for a luxury hotel on St Helena have moved a step forward, with developer Shelco about to be given permission to buy land for the project.

A draft agreement has been approved by executive councillors, to be signed by Governor Mark Capes. The special consent is needed because a new law allowing non-islanders to buy land is not yet active. Conditions are attached, according to a report from the latest executive council meeting on January 24.

Electrical charges: Concerns have been voiced about rising costs of electricity and water. Exco members have considered way to soften the impact of increases for ‘those least able to afford them’.

Officials have briefed councillors on plans to keep electricity tariffs lower in future by increasing the number of wind turbines producing power. The Exco report does not make it clear whether this means erecting more turbines, or simply getting more work out of the existing ones.

Charges go up from April 2012.

Other items, as reported by Governor Capes:

Councillors also granted approval for Basil read to begin extracting rock, which would involve the use of explosives, from an open quarry in the Rupert’s Bay area. The rock would be used for constructing the temporary jetty at Rupert’s Bay.

Another major piece of work has produced draft Land Disposal and Housing Policies. Officials explained that the paper would be put out to extensive public consultation during January and February. The draft Land Disposal policy is designed to enable a speedier and more transparent process by which SHG may release land and housing assets to the open market. The Housing Policy is concerned to safeguard the interests of the people of St Helena by ensuring that they can access a range of affordable housing.

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