BDA Comments on Tucker’s Point SDO

February 7, 2011

Rosewood Tucker's Point Hotel Bermuda Feb 4th 2011-1-10[Written by Dr Katherine Michelmore, Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for BDA on the Environment]

On 4th February a Special Development Order (SDO) was tabled in the House to allow Tuckers Point to expand their development. The proposal outlined includes the construction of 78 private residences and 70 additional hotel rooms. There has been mention of 7.5 acres to be zoned as Woodland and Nature Reserve, which represents 3% of the 250 acre property. There has been no clarification as to how many acres of the property will be consumed with the new development.

Minister Roban has been swift to note that SDO’s will now need parliamentary approval, allowing greater transparency and this should be welcomed as it is a small step towards greater scrutiny of SDO’s. The public and environmental groups however will still be asking why this development requires an SDO which allows it to bypass normal planning regulations? The public may also rightly question why on February 2nd Tucker’s Point President, Ed Trippe is quoted in the Royal Gazette as saying that “discussions were in very early stages” and yet two days later the SDO is tabled which details a massive expansion? This suggests that talks have been in progress for much longer than admitted, and perhaps were under consideration back in 2010 when early reports of an SDO were mentioned.

Bermuda’s tourism product is recognized to be in a state of crisis, and there are a number of stalled developments including the Wyndham/Sonesta resort, the old Club Med site in St. Georges, and the Morgan’s Point development which is currently the site of garbage storage. The Newstead resort is currently under receivership. Many will argue that in this climate the Government should do all it can to invigorate the tourism market, but we may ask why the first phase of development is slated to be construction of 19 private residences for sale to non-Bermudians? How does this re-invigorate our tourism product? How does this fit with the previously expressed concerns of Minister Burch as to the percentage of land held by non-Bermudians?

As spokesperson for the environment for the BDA I am concerned that open discussion regarding this development has been avoided. Talks have clearly been in progress for some time and the public has not had the opportunity to openly contribute. I am concerned that we are facing another SDO which bypasses the regular safeguards and scrutiny of normal planning processes. I am concerned that a massive development is planned which plans to preserve only 3% of the site for environmental protection, and that an as yet unknown acreage will be lost to development and lost forever to Bermudian ownership. I am concerned that our Tourism industry is struggling, and this development is skewed towards development of private residences rather than hotel rooms.

Premier Paula Cox has recently been quoted as saying that “it cannot be business as usual”, and yet I fear that this SDO represents “business as usual” for the Department of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure. If we want true openness and transparency, these projects should be discussed with the public prior to the issuing of SDO’s….that would be a Better Way.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Shrinking Bermuda says:

    Keep asking questions, then maybe one day you the truth will become public..

  2. Sara says:

    Secrecy again, more of the same is what this “new administration” is showing us.

    • Tru Dat says:

      The truth will only become public when we have a new govt which is transparent and accountable to the people. The PLP govt is secretive and their love for the dollar is without measure. They have out UBP’ed the UBP. They love crack’n the whip…so get used to it!!

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    The lyrics of an old song come to mind. “They paved paradise & put up a parking lot.”

    Does anyone expect any better from this Governmet? Same old same old, just in even more stealth mode.

  4. Tony says:

    Feed em cake..The PLP know that the passive lot that is our majority will never unleash the guillotine..

  5. shirley Richardson says:

    BDA how can you have the nerve to question the gov’t about anything? the public has a question for you, how long have you been secretly meeting with the ubp? You people
    don’t have an ounce of creditability ,or as many believe this so called split with the opposition was nothing but a scam!!

    • Pete says:

      Co-signed!

    • Sara says:

      And all the while the PLP calling UBP “house you know whats”, confused you know whats, and don’t forget back to the plantation if you vote for UBP
      Oh but wait what’s that? Mr. Furbert wants to be on our team! Oh sure come on over and don’t pay attention to all the crap I said about you, it was all for show we really aren’t that much different after all. Hugs all around!!

    • BWAHAHAHAHA? says:

      A PLP supporter demanding accountability and transparency from the Opposition while how many times has her beloved Party “had to deceive her?”!! Oh that is rich Ms. Richardson!!

      Bermuda is indeed opposite world!!

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • ricky says:

      Sorry Shirlene, but some of us happen to be former PLP supporters gone on a walk-a-bout. We, like any right thinking person reserve the right to question. Did you ever stop to think that maybe we stopped drinking the juice. Putting party politics aside,providing this SDO is just flat out wrong.

  6. Sara says:

    But yesterday Mr Marshall said it was wrong Government was essentially helping the hotel repay its loan.

    “My question is why should the Bermuda Government offer an SDO that will eventually take away a large portion of Hamilton Parish woodlands in order to make good the HSBC loans? This is wrong and any MP who votes for this SDO should have their head examined and the voters in their constituencies should likewise hold them to account.

    “Issuing an SDO which ultimately leads to the selling and development of raw, virgin, protected real estate will not solve the financial problem of Rosewood Tucker’s Point and, ultimately, it only helps the loan book of HSBC.”

  7. Devrae says:

    But as always this Govenment is into making the deal first and then telling us after…like I told Jahmal Simmons(plp etired)in is facebook status…

    “You mabe able to fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool the people All the time…”

    People may have been somewhat not concerning back 3years ago are now more educated in sussing out when “You” the government have tried to decieve US.

  8. navin r johnson says:

    Truth? I believe Governments view is to quote Colonel Jessup..”You can’t handle the truth”