The Act provides for acquisition of private land by the Crown and related procedures.The Act consists of 36 sections divided into 8 Parts: Preliminary (I); Compulsory Acquisition of land and Abandonment of Acquisition (II); Appointment and Powers of Board of Assessment (III); Determination of Small Claims for Compensation (IV); Provisions Governing Assessment of Compensation, etc. (V); Miscellaneous (VI); Voluntary Conveyance of Land to Crown (VII); Registration (VIII).Whenever the Minister considers that any land should be acquired for a public purpose, he may cause a declaration to that effect in accordance with section 3 and the declaration shall be prima facie evidence that the land to which it relates is required for a public purpose. The Minister may order a preliminary survey pursuant to section 4 or order works to be carried out on and prior to a declaration pursuant to section 5. Section 6 provides for negotiations to reach a voluntary agreement with the owner after declaration. If land is not acquired within a specified period, the acquisition of the land or part thereof shall be deemed to have been abandoned (sect. 9). No compensation shall be payable in any case for loss of bargain or for damages for breach of contract. All questions and claims relating to the payment of compensation under this Act and to the apportionment of such compensation shall be submitted to a Board of Assessment to be appointed in each case in accordance with section 12., but in case that the compensation claimed does not exceed five thousand dollars, the amount of the compensation to be paid in such case shall be determined by a magistrate (sect. 18). The owner of any land, not being land in a town, may convey that land to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors for the use of the Government of Belize, and the Minister may in his discretion accept that land and pay a price to be agreed upon between the owner and the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys.
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Chief Parliamentary Counsel
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