Can I claim back property that was expropriated by Government but has been left unutilized by the original project?
Yes you can. Provided Government has no public purpose use for the property and provided that the deed of acquisition has not been signed (i.e. you have not been paid for the property), Lands Authority may release the property back to you. This will require clearance from the Ministry (Minister’s approval required) that had originated the expropriation and the subsequent issue of a President’s declaration of release from acquisition. You will also be required to sign an indemnity form releasing Lands Authority from any claims for damages. In those instances where the deed of acquisition has been finalized the matter is somewhat different in that Government may have allocated the site on lease to third parties. Most often this happens in the case of residual sites. In such case Lands Authority may transfer the property back to you provided you are ready to accept it as is. Lands Authority will then enter into a deed selling the site back to you at the original price it paid for it. You will however have to pay damages at 5% on the principal amount from the date of the acquisition contract to the date of the sell-back contract. This process is possible by way of an amendment to the Disposal of Government Land Act that was sponsored by the Lands Authority.