The Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] applauds WEDCO’s Lodge Point Nature Reserve parkland designation but calls for more.
A BEST spokesperson said, “BEST was invited to and attended the Lodge Point Nature Reserve declaration on Wednesday. We learned then that the additional reserve joins the pre-existing WEDCO reserve known as Lagoon Park.
“We feel this is an important addition as it includes the beach known as Parson’s bay where some improvements have already been made including demolition of some derelict housing on the point.
“The Nature Reserve declaration deserves our recognition and acclaim — which we are pleased to give. However, that does not deter us from urging further park designations on Ireland Island South, notably all of Maria Hill, which is the most important block of woodland on Ireland Island South.
“This points out the value of prior consultation, which would have enabled WEDCO to be more aware of the need for and the reasoning behind additional parkland set-asides in the area. We do not believe that WEDCO would deliberately deprive future residents of an adequate quota of reserved open space — after all, this set-aside indicates a recognition of the value of reserved open space.
“WEDCO has the opportunity — and more than that, an obligation — to create communities where even dense housing plots are buffered by adequate open space.
“Had BEST or other credible local environmental analysts been consulted, we would have pointed out that as Ireland Island North is already totally urban, the remaining open space on Ireland Island South is desperately in need of preservation in order to achieve a balance.
“We recommend the designation as parkland of ALL of the area enclosed by Malabar road to the north, lagoon road to the south and Craddock road to the east as well as Lodge Point, including the hill north of Lefroy House (where segments of the movie “The Deep” were filmed in an old quarry)
“Ultimately, our concern is that the undesignated one third of Ireland Island South (south of Malabar Road) will be used for more housing or tourist accommodation. Such development would increase usage of the parkland so far designated to the point where it would be overwhelmed and degraded, thus defeating the purpose and negating the impact of newly preserved area.”
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