Linstead | House Torn Down In Land Fuss To Be Rebuilt

Linstead | House Torn Down In Land Fuss To Be Rebuilt

November 20, 2021 0 By Jamaica Beacon

Natalie Hutchinson looks on while some of the house materials and furniture are being removed in a truck

Natalie Hutchinson’s wooden house, which was torn down and placed into storage along with some of its contents on November 18, will be rebuilt.

“We are going to rebuild in a couple days,” US-based pastor and philanthropist Rebecca Stewart told The Beacon.

She had given the go-ahead for the house to be relocated due to controversy over the land on which it was constructed in the vicinity of Linstead Fire Station in St. Catherine.

The land is owned by the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC), a public entity. Hutchinson, along with others, have been occupying it illegally.

One of the illegal occupants, Christopher Gordon, who said he has been living at the location for nearly five years, admitted to giving Hutchinson permission to build the house on the property – an authority he does not have.

That verbal permission, nonetheless, resulted in Stewart using the land to build the house for Hutchinson and her six children who are minors.

Before the house was constructed, the mother and her children had no set place of abode, and some of the children were sleeping in chicken coops. It is said that Hutchinson previously turned down a house that was being offered by Food For The Poor, saying she did not like the proposed location.

In the meantime, days after Stewart built the house for Hutchinson, NROCC, on October 2, served eviction notice for Hutchinson to vacate its property within 30 days. A similar notice was served on Gordon and on Hutchinson’s adult son Swayne Sullivan.

The three, along with their dependents, did not leave the land within the specified time.

The child protection services eventually showed up at the premises and took seven minors into State care. Six of those minors belong to Hutchinson and the other is her granddaughter.

The removal of the children sparked fear that attempts would have been made to demolish the houses, hence the move on Thursday to pull down Hutchinson’s house and secure the materials used to build it. The furniture, donated by Stewart, were also removed from the location and placed into storage.

Hutchinson told The Beacon that she has somewhere to stay until her house is rebuilt on a parcel of land already identified for lease.

In the meantime, managing director of NROCC, Stephen Edwards, said the agency had given all of the illegal occupants a bit more time to relocate. He also promised to seek State support for Hutchinson.

Edwards further noted that, due to the construction of Hutchinson’s house at the base of a section of Highway 2000, the highway has been undermined. Remedial work will have to be done to address the issue, he added.

NROCC also previously stated that Hutchinson’s house was built in a danger zone, adding that any vehicle could have careered off the highway and crashed into the structure, perhaps causing death.

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