ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
REGISTERED LAND (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2022
No. of 2022
Registered Land Amendment Bill, 2022 2 No. of 2022
No. of 2022 3 Registered Land Amendment Bill, 2022
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
REGISTERED LAND (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2022
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title ................................................................................................................................................. 4
2. Interpretation........................................................................................................................................... 4
3. Amendment of section 16-Mutation ................................................................................................... 4
4. Repeal and substitution of section 21-Combinations and subdivisions ........................................ 5
5. Insertion of Sections 162, 163, 164,165,166, 167 and 168 ............................................................. 5
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ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
REGISTERED LAND AMENDMENT BILL, 2022
NO. OF 2022
AN ACT to amend the Registered Land Act, Cap. 374 to make provision to revise the procedures
relating to the mutation of the land register, the subdivision of contiguous parcels, the regulation
of land reclamation and the use of the foreshore and seabed for purposes other than their use as a
public right of way, navigation, fishing and relaxation.
ENACTED by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda as follows:
1. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Registered Land (Amendment) Act, 2022
In this Act—
“principal Act” means the Registered Land Act, Cap. 374
“foreshore” means the shore of the sea or of channels of creeks that is alternately covered and
uncovered by the sea at the highest and lowest tides;
“reclamation of land” or “reclamation” includes the construction of bridges, piers, docks, quays,
wharves, embankments, sea walls and other structures;
“sea-bed” means the bed of all territorial and inland tidal waters.
3. Amendment of section 16-Mutation
Section 16 of the principal Act is amended by the insertion after subsection (2) thereof of the
“(3) Where, pursuant to subsection (1), the process of mutat ion is commenced but remains
uncompleted for a period of eighteen months, the Registrar may discontinue the mutation process
and, by notice in the Official Gazette, publish the names and addresses of all applicants whose
application for mutation have been discontinued and request such applicants to reapply.
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4. Repeal and substitution of section 21-Combinations and subdivisions
Section 21 of the principal Act is repealed and substituted by the following-
(1) “Where a contiguous parcel of land is owned by the same proprietor and is subject in all respects to the same rights and obligations, the proprietor may apply to the Registrar for a
subdivision of such contiguous parcel.
(2) The Registrar may, upon receipt of an application of a proprietor for a subdivision of a contiguous parcel and, on payment of the prescribed fee, make an order approving the
subdivision and, cause notice of the order to be forwarded to the Chief Land Surveyor on
a mutation form for an amendment of the Survey Map.
(3) The Registrar shall, upon receipt of a notice of the Order made by the Chief Land Surveyor pursuant to subsection (2), give effect to the Order by closing the register
relating to the contiguous parcel and opening a new register for the parcels created by the
(4) The Registrar shall not approve an application for a subdivision of a parcel subject to a
lease, unless the application is accompanied by the written consent of the lessor or, in the
case of a parcel subject to a sub-lease, by the written consent of the head lessor.
(5) Upon notice from the Chief Land Surveyor that the Survey Map has been amended in
accordance with an order made pursuant to subsection (2), the Registrar shall subdivide
the parcel in respect of which the application is made by closing the register relating to
the parcel affected and opening a new register for the new parcels created by the
subdivision, and recording in the new register all the subsisting entries appearing in the
(6) Where a proprietor applies for approval to subdivide a parcel for the purpose of building
development, the Registrar may, prior to approving the app lication, require the proprietor
to submit a plan of the proposed subdivisions prepared by a surveyor licensed under the
Land Surveyors Act, Cap. 239 and certified by the Chief Land Surveyor that the proposed
plan is in compliance with the requirements of the planning regulations.”
5. Insertion of Sections 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167 and 168
“162 Ownership of the foreshore and seabed.
(1) Subject to the public right of way, navigation, fishing and relaxation, the ownership of the foreshore and seabed shall vest in the Crown.
(2) No person shall erect any building or structure on the foreshore, or on or over the seabed without having first obtained a licence from the Minister.
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(3) Any person who desires to erect any building or structure on the foreshore, or on or over the seabed may apply to the Minister responsible for the Environment for a licence to
undertake such construction.
(4) On receipt of an application under subsection (3), the Minister shall direct the Chief Environmental Officer to conduct an investigation of the area where the proposed
construction is to take place and determine the effect such construction may have on the
environment or to make such recommendations as he considers appropriate.
(5) Where the Chief Environmental officer advises the grant of a licence for the construction on or over the seabed the Minister shall notify any interested party in the area where the
proposed construction is to take place.
(6) The Minister may, by regulation-
(a) make rules to govern the construction of buildings or erection of other structures on
the foreshores, or on or over the seabed, and
(b) prescribe fees for licences and activities other than the exercise of the existing public rights.
163 Reclamation of land.
(1) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of this section authorise the reclamation of land on the mainland or on the foreshore of Antigua and Barbuda.
(2) Any person, who proposes to engage in land reclamation in any part in Antigua and Barbuda may apply to the Minister in the prescribed form for a licence to engage in such
(3) The Minister shall, upon receipt of the application, pursuant to subsection (2) notify any interested party and the public in general, of the proposed land reclamation.
(4) The notification referred to in subsection (3) shall be published in-
(a) four successive issues of the Official Gazette;
(b) two issues of any newspaper circulating in Antigua and Barbuda; and
(c) three (3) successive radio announcements on the Government Radio Station; and
(d) a notice posted at a prominent place on the affected land for a period of three weeks .
(5) The notification referred to in subsection (3) shall –
(a) describe the proposed reclamation and give the approximate size of the area to be
(b) invite any interested party objecting to the reclamation or alleging loss of a right in respect thereof to submit his objections or loss of a right in writing, specifying the
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nature of his objection and, in the case of any allegation of loss or damage, which
may be suffered, the estimated cost of such loss or damage.
(6) Where after receiving the objections and claims, the Minister considered it expedient so
to do, he may appoint a committee of three persons and desig nate one of them as
chairperson to inquire into the objections, the alleged losses and any other matter which
he considers relevant to enable him to determine the application for approval.
(7) The Minister may, after considering the report, determine whether to authorise the reclamation or not and, if he authorises the reclamation, he may impose on the applicant
such conditions as he considers necessary for the protection of any public rights existing
prior to the grant of approval.
164.Reclaimed land to be vested in the Crown
Any land reclaimed otherwise than under section 165 (2) shall vest in the Crown and the Cabinet
may deal with the reclaimed land in a manner that is consistent with the public interest.
165.Licence to reclaim land on the foreshore does not constitute a right
(1) Without prejudice to any public or private rights that may be affected thereby, this Act shall not apply to the filling by a landowner of the whole or any portion of the foreshore
that borders on his land.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be deemed to recognize or create any right or claim, or any greater right or claim than but for that subsection would exist and be recognized and
enforceable by action in Court.
166.Extinguishment of right
Upon publication of the authorization of a proposed land reclamation,
all public and private rights of navigation or fishing and rights ancillary thereto,
all public and private rights of access or user,
all other public or private rights (if any) in, upon or
over the foreshore or sea-bed occupied by the proposed reclamation shall be
extinguished and cease to exist.
167. Limitation of claims
(1) Save as provided by this Act, no claim shall at anytime be made, action brought or continued in respect of the extinguishment under section 166 in whole or in part of any
public or private right or in respect of the injurious affection, resulting from the
reclamation, of any public right.
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(2) Any person who submitted a claim of private right in accordance with section 163 (5) (b), may, within three months submit a claim in respect of the extinguishment of such private
168. Jurisdiction over the determination of claims
(1) The High Court, shall hear and determine any claim for compensation under section 167 in the same manner as any civil action instituted in such court:
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) the Minister or Cabinet may enter into an agreement with any claimant for the compromise or settlement of his claim.
Passed the House of Representatives on
the day of , 2022.
Passed the Senate on the day of
Clerk to the House of Representatives.
Clerk to the Senate.
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1. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Registered Land Act, Cap. 374 to authorize
the Registrar to discontinue and cancel all uncompleted applications for mutation of
the Register that have remained pending for six (6) months or more. To give effect
to these proposals, the Bill proposes to amend section 16 of the Act by inserting after
subsection (2) thereof of, a new subsection (3), which authorises the Registrar to
discontinue any application for mutation of the Register that remains uncompleted
for six (6) months or more to be discontinued and the applicant be required to
2. Clause 4 of the Bill also proposes to repeal section 21 of the Act to address a request
for the division of contiguous parcels of land owned by the same proprietor and
subject in all respects to the same rights and obligations. The Bill proposes to repeal
section 21 and replace it with a series of procedures to be followed when subdividing
contiguous parcels of land. These procedures include, among others, a provis ion
authorizing the Registrar to make an order approving the request for a subdivision
and forwarding the order to the Chief Land Surveyor in a mutation form, authorising
him to amend the survey map. On receipt of the amended survey map, the Registrar
would proceed to give effect to the order, by closing the existing register in relation
to the contiguous parcels and opening a new register for the parcels resulting from
3. The proposed amendment also prohibits the Registrar from subdividing a parcel of
land, which is subject to a lease, unless the application requesting a subdivision is
supported by the written consent of the lessor or, in the case of a parcel subject to a
sublease, by the written consent of the head lessor. Clause 4 further provides that ,
where an application for a subdivision of a parcel is intended for building
development, the Registrar shall, as a first step, request from the applicant a plan of
the proposed subdivis ions, prepared by a licensed surveyor licensed under the
Surveyors Act, Cap. 239, which complies with the planning regulations in force at
the date of the application.
4. Clause 6 of the Bill proposes to amend the Act by adding three sections to the
current Registered Land Act. These are sections 162,163 and 164. Section 163
declares the ownership of the foreshore and the seabed as areas, which subject to the
public right of navigation, fishing and relaxation, are vested in the Crown.
Following this declaration, the Bill introduces a series of procedures to regulate the
use of the foreshore and seabed for purposes other than the existing public rights.
Subsections (2) and (3) therefore restrict the use of the foreshore and seabed for
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purposes other than the existing public rights on grant of a licence issued by the
Subsection (3) proposes that a licence issued pursuant to this section shall be subject
to such conditions, including fees as the Minister may by regulation prescribe.
5. With respect to land reclamation, section 163 prohibits land reclamation in any part
of Antigua and Barbuda without a licence issued by the Minister. Clause 6(2) of the
Bill requires any person who proposes to reclaim land in Antigua and Barbuda to
apply to the Minister for a licence. Prior to the Minister’s approval for land
reclamation, a series of procedures, including notification to interested parties in the
area where the land is to be reclaimed. The notice shall describe the proposed
reclamation and give the appropriate area and size of land to be reclaimed, and invite
interested parties objecting to the reclamation, or alleging any loss of rights thereof
to submit their objections or loss of rights in writing, and in the case of loss or
damage which may be incurred, the estimated cost of such loss or damage.
6. The notification is required to be published in the Official Gazette and in a
newspaper circulating in Antigua and Barbuda and by radio announcement. To
address the concerns and objections of interested parties, the Bill proposes to
authorize the Minister to appoint a committee of three persons to enquire into the
concerns of the interested parties and advise him on the matters contained in their
objections and allegations of losses arising out of the reclamation.
7. The Bill further authorizes the Minister in the case of granting approval of an
application for reclamation to impose on an applicant any condition that he considers
necessary for the protection of any existing public right.
8. Finally, the Bill vests ownership of any reclaimed land in the Crown, and authorizes
the Cabinet to deal with reclaimed land in a manner consistent with the public
Hon. Steadroy C.O. Benjamin
Attorney General and
Minister with responsibility Justice, Legal Affairs,
Labour and National Security
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