Caves at John Smith’s Bay are set to be largely filled in after slightly scaled-down plans to address coastal erosion at the beach were approved.

Plans originally submitted proposed completely filling a series of caves on the eastern side of the Smith’s beach with concrete, but the approved plans would leave a small overhang.

A report by a Department of Planning technical officer recommended the revised plan be approved.

The report said: “Given on-site conditions, it is clear that some form of coastal protection is required.

“The design proposed has balanced the need for mitigation with the need to ensure the natural environment and aesthetics of this popular beach destination are maintained for tourists and locals alike.

“This is considered to be a long-term solution which is relatively simple to construct with minimal destruction to the surroundings.”

The plans were formally approved at a meeting of the DAB on September 15, with no questions or comments raised, according to the minutes of the meeting.

The Government filed an application to fill in the caves in June to address continued erosion which created a potential threat to those who go inside the caves and the property above.

Environmental groups including the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce and the Bermuda Audubon Society voiced concerns about the plans, which they felt would negatively impact the beach.

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