RG Opinion Article by David Wingate
Natural treasure: Bermuda is an island of scenic beauty and biological diversity that must be preserved
If the application recently submitted for a quarrying operation on a vacant lot at 9 Judkin Lane, Hamilton Parish, to be followed immediately after by application for a large house, ancillary cottage and swimming pool — all on woodland reserve zoning — receives approval from the Department of Planning, then I can confidently state that our planning legislation and zoning laws will no longer have any meaning at all. This would be an extremely dangerous precedent to set.
This matter first came to the attention of the public when a huge land-clearing scar appeared on Ramgate Hill immediately behind Mangrove Lake, as viewed from Tucker’s Town Road — one of Bermuda’s most scenic tourist routes. This already came as a shock to many in the community, but more so when it was learnt that the land in question was zoned woodland reserve.
Subsequently, it was discovered that this wholesale clearing with a back hoe was a poorly implemented “Preliminary Conservation Management plan”, approved in principle by the planning department pending submission of a building development application for the same site, renewed in November 2018.
It is pertinent to point out here that the approved woodland management plan covered most of the site and did not include any proposal for re-contouring of the hillside, which is very steep, especially on its upper part.