Grenada is perhaps one of the most intricately networked countries and it is public perception that all maintenance works are for the government to bear.
Between various laws, “roads” are defined to include:
“street or thoroughfare over which the public have a right of passage, and includes bridges, dams, drains, embankments, causeways, fences, and ditches belonging or appertaining to a road, carriageways, curbs, sidewalks, verges and other reservations, highway, footways and verges.”
What are some of the obligations of a private landowner with lands near to a road?
- Liable to have his land entered upon by government in order to do road works: tracing, cleaning, improving, fencing, building or excavation.
- May have rubbish or materials removed during execution of road works thrown upon the land.
- May have materials such as water, gravel, wood, etc, as required for road works, or related purposes, removed from his land unless his land is used as a garden, yard, park, planted walk, avenue to house, or planted with provisions other than cocoa or spices of more than 4 years’ growth.
Among the powers government may exercise, he can be required to:
- erect bridges or drain covers where water runs from his land onto public roads in order to prevent damage to the public road;
- maintain sections of public roads that form part of a private canal or conduit;
- remove any obstruction, encroachment, tree or brush overhang, or dead or dying tree on adjoining land that is likely to fall into the road and cause damage;
- remove any coconut tree planted within 30 feet of the centre of a road; and
- not cultivate a lot or plant or erect a hedge or fence to protect the roadside.
Where the landowner fails to execute works required to be executed as outlined above, government can elect to do the work and recover the expenses of doing so from the private landowner. In some instances, government has the power to impose a daily fine for each day after the expiry of the time specified in a notice for the landowner to do an act.
Some of the rights government can exercise might create a right to be compensated or to at least have his land restored by levelling or erection of fences or rails.
Rights of entry by government are subject to a requirement for notice by government.
Grenada Bar Association