Dear Sir,

The Bermuda Audubon Society is very disappointed to learn that the Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban, has once again decided to overturn a decision of the Development Applications Board, this time to allow a private individual, Nelson Cordeiro, to build a large house and pool on lands zoned Woodland Reserve on Judkin Lane, near Mangrove Lake.

This decision goes directly against the recommendations of his own planning department and the recommendations of the independent planning inspector brought in to review the appeal.

When the minister granted Mr Cordeiro permission to quarry the site for slate a year ago — again against the recommendation of a (different) independent planning inspector — he cited “national interest” as the reason for his decision. National interest cannot justify his approval for a large private house, with pool and other structures, described by the inspector as a case of “extreme overdevelopment which is not sensitive to the importance placed on this conservation area”. The approved development serves only the developer’s interest; everyone else loses.

This once-forested hillside lot sits amid one of the largest areas of natural open space in Bermuda. What was a supposedly a protected area of Woodland Reserve was allowed to be completely deforested, then turned into an open scar through quarrying, and now will be almost wholly covered in man-made structures.

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