Media Release from the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce
29 April 2012
Contact: Stuart Hayward 704-4334 < [email protected] >

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) calls for truth in advertising at the Grand Atlantic

It has come to our attention that the Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC), a Quango of the Bermuda government, is promoting the Grand Atlantic condominiums with inaccurate and misleading advertising (see Grand Atlantic 25.25 x 11 Foldermap.pdf). In its brochure BHC claims, “… With access to acres of park grounds and a beautiful, secluded beach at Southlands National Park, the location is perfect for outdoor living and nature enthusiasts.”

The reality: there is no such entity as the “Southlands National Park”. The Southlands Estate, saved from development by public activism, is slated to be swapped for land at Morgan’s Point, but has not been formerly legislated as parkland or anything else. While the land swap may have been finalized (or maybe not), there has been no such formal declaration or announcement. The absence of an announcement and an event lauding the dedication of Southlands as a “National Park” is unmistakable evidence that the future status of the Southlands property is still in limbo. We are aware that if the land swap is not effected, the Southlands property will remain in the hands of its current owners and, as private property, be unavailable to Grand Atlantic residents. Based on experience, we can only be sure that Southlands will become a National Park is when it actually happens — anything else is purely speculation.

The brochure also claims that the development is “set amidst lush, landscaped gardens that feature a variety of local flora.” Perhaps this is what the developers hope to achieve but certainly is not the case now. There are no photos of lush gardens or any gardens at all. As for “local flora”, the existing vegetation includes “scheflerra”, a plant now officially regarded as invasive!

The claim of “traditional building methods” is almost ludicrous. Densely-packed multi-story condominiums with not a single limestone wall is definitely not in the Bermuda house-building tradition.

One block of units is within spitting distance of a heavily used main road — certainly not a “tranquil view” as the brochure claims. The promotional material omits showing the overall site plan for ALL of the units. We must ask — Why isn’t the overall site plan and elevations being made public so Warwick residents, potential buyers and the Bermuda public can better gauge the “tranquility” of a development of this SCALE and DENSITY built this close to the main road? Observers can see large areas of excavation at the site but the public still has no graphic depiction of where these three-storey buildings and a hotel are going to be fitted onto this already crowded site.

Additionally, the last signal the public has had from the government about a name for the area was that the park was going to be named after Pauulu Kamarakafego (Roosevelt Browne). It is misleading to promote the as yet non-existing park by its current name, all the while knowing that that name is going to be abandoned and the area renamed.

While we don’t expect that aspects of the development like the densely populated neighbourhood, the development’s close proximity to a heavily traveled road, or the recently buried rubble-dump would be included in promotional material, neither does the public expect the development would be so openly mis-advertised. We trust that potential consumers will carefully review this and other advertisements for the development with a cautious and discerning eye.

The public deserves a rapid correction and revision of the promotional materials to reflect the truth. We look forward to truth in advertising at the Grand Atlantic.

Grand Atlantic – A Dump Site?

Alert citizens photographed what appears to be illegal dumping at the Grand Atlantic site. A Dept of Planning order in response to a violation of the BCB Code Sec 29 3 April 5 2012 stated “All dumping must cease and offending material removed” – from the photo (and observers) it seems it was “removed” to this onsite trench.