With the new cliffside construction on Harrington Sound Road, we continue to witness the destruction of our precious shorelines and valuable undeveloped green spaces. Parliament passed the Tucker’s Point Resort Residential Special Development Order in 2011.
The SDO allowed for development of this property — and more — at “Res 2” standards, overriding the protective zonings that were in place. This particular lot is zoned Coastal Reserve, Water Resources Protection Area and Cave Protection Area.
The same applied to the nearby house at 27 Harrington Sound Road. Just above these houses, on Paynters Hill, the SDO allowed for the construction of new homes on land-zoned Nature Reserve. Nature Reserve!
The Bermuda Audubon Society strongly objected to the Planning Application, P0181-21, for this latest new house near Shark Hole. Objections were also submitted by the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, the Bermuda National Trust and members of the public, including former Government Conservation Officer David Wingate and former Senator and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of the Environment Dr Walwyn Hughes. Nevertheless, the application was approved.
The approval did include conditions that would theoretically minimise the impact of the construction on the surrounding environment. That remains to be seen. The result will still be destruction of important natural habitat and another large and imposing structure on the shores of Harrington Sound.
Is this the future that we want for Bermuda? Be prepared because there will be more. The St George’s Resort Act of 2018 allows Hotelco Bermuda Holding Ltd to lease and develop 122 acres of government-owned land in St George’s. In addition to the multistorey St Regis Hotel buildings, they have permission to construct “resort residences” of varying densities on 23 additional lots.
In the most recent Bermuda Plan, 18 acres of land with conservation zoning leased to Hotelco were changed to tourism. Tourism is one of our least protective zoning designations. We are still in the dark about the plans for development on the Fairmont Southampton site. The 2009 SDO allows for the development of at least 130 units at this location. What will come after that?
Read more here: https://www.royalgazette.com/opinion-writer/opinion/article/20220721/travesty-of-land-use-in-bermuda/