When was the campaign?
The effort against the proposed Jumeirah development at Southlands ran almost the whole of 2007.
What was the proposed project?
The proposed project was for the building of a huge hotel… in fact the development (including parking areas etc) would have covered the whole site… including across the road and right down to the water’s edge on the south shore.
Why did BEST object?
For so many reasons.
The scale of the development was unprecedented in Bermuda;
There was no environmental impact assessment done which would have addressed so many issues including the increased traffic;
The tunnel on south shore;
The impact on the beach and the longtails;
The Jumeirah group have a reputation of not complying with planning rules and regulations.
We also had an eye on the Nelson Hunt proposed application to build a huge apartment complex on Khyber Pass for the housing of staff for the Southlands development.
How did BEST campaign?
We gathered interested people together and brainstormed a number of the impacts; we produced a paper and an online petition and presented it to the Minister of the Environment; we encouraged people to write Letters to the Editor (which were also presented to the Minister)… I would have to go to the file to tell you the number of signitures but think it was about 3500; we held the protest around the proposed Tunnel; we did a protest along East Broadway; we held a Town Hall meeting and a forum on Tourism; we put a piece on the television… to which the Env. Minister countered with one of their own in reply.
What is the current status of the campaign?
The status is that there was to be a land swap: Morgan’s Point for Southlands where presumably they will develop some type of hotel and then the Southlands property would become the people’s property (overseen by Government) and, hopefully, a national park. To date, this land swap has not been finalized or formalized.