The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said they noted “two nuggets of environmental treasure” in the 2017 Throne Speech that they thought were worth highlighting and responding to.

A BEST spokesperson said, “While reviewing the 2017 Throne Speech, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] noted two nuggets of environmental treasure found on pages 18 and 19 of the document that we thought worth highlighting and responding to.

“The first dealt with ‘retroactive permission’ where developers sometimes build first then apply for permission after.

“On this point, the Throne Speech states: ‘Bermuda’s planning laws and regulations are in place to ensure that Bermuda’s environment and beauty are not spoiled by rampant development and construction.

“Accordingly, as certain determined property owners construct at will and then apply for retroactive permission, legislation will be introduced to increase enforcement and introduce penalties for those who willfully violate planning policy and then seek retroactive approval.

“BEST has been pushing for stronger legislation and enforcement to curb this practice.

“The second of these Throne Speech items referred to ‘open space’ and states: ‘As a further commitment to ensure Bermuda’s future generations can also enjoy our dwindling amount of unspoiled beauty, the Government will identify the open spaces that must be protected for generations to come. Legislation will be introduced to take this protection beyond ministerial discretion.

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