A plan for “well over 300” units at the Fairmont Southampton was presented to environmental groups last year, a conservation charity said.

The Bermuda National Trust added that the scheme would “saturate the property with villas” if it went ahead.

Gencom said earlier that a level of residential development was needed to support investment at the iconic hotel, which it acquired in 2019.

A consultant for the company highlighted yesterday that the Government knows about the firm’s intention to propose an amendment to an existing Special Development Order.

But she did not confirm whether plans had changed since they were shown to environmental groups last May.

Karen Border, the BNT’s executive director, highlighted the 2009 SDO for the resort that gave planning permission in principle for 130 fractional tourism and residential units.

She said in a statement run as an Opinion article today: “Until a planning application has been submitted, we won’t know the full extent of the new proposal.

“However, the master plan discussed at a preliminary scoping meeting between Bermuda Environmental Consulting – on behalf of Gencom – and environmental NGOs in May 2021 showed well over 300 units planned.

“If this is still the plan, it seems very likely that a further SDO will be sought and granted allowing for this increased number, which will saturate the property with villas, and related driveways and car parks.

“Just the golf course – or part of the golf course – and a tiny amount of manicured garden around the hotel itself will be left undeveloped.”

Ms Border said that the BNT “absolutely understands the need to revive our tourism industry”.

But she added: “Allowing every inch of tourism-zoned land to be built on with residential units is simply not sustainable.”

Read more here: https://www.royalgazette.com/tourism/news/article/20220411/fears-that-fairmont-southampton-plan-will-saturate-property-with-villas/