BEST ‘Welcomes’ Consultation Plans For AC

January 25, 2016

The ACBDA’s recent announcement to involve the community in development of the Master Plan for the America’s Cup Event Village, through a series of meetings with key stakeholders and the general public, is being welcomed by BEST Chief Advocacy Officer, Stuart Hayward.

Mr. Hayward said, “BEST is very encouraged by and wants to acknowledge the increasingly transparent process.”

“BEST appealed the decision that permitted the landfill, interim and end uses at the South Basin last year and in December succeeded with their appeal in a Supreme Court judgment resulting in the rejection of the end-uses that developer WEDCO had in mind, namely a commercial boatyard, a luxury marina and the consolidated offices and maintenance facility for the Marine & Ports Department,” BEST said.

“The core issue for BEST was that the Environmental Impact Assessment/Statement [EIA/EIS] that was initially conducted for the project was sub-standard and inadequate to uphold the Development Applications Board’s [DAB’s] legal obligation to obtain the best possible environmental information on which to base its decision.

“From the outset, BEST informed the developer, the Department of Planning [DOP], the DAB and the Minister that the submitted EIA/EIS was too flawed to rely upon. All of those entities dismissed BEST’s concerns and, driven by the pressure of the America’s Cup, pressed ahead with the development. The Court’s decision affirms BEST’s stance.

“Bermuda Environmental Consulting Ltd [BEC] were the authors of the emergency EIA/EIS that was conducted as a very last minute replacement, prior to the planning application for the landfill itself.”

Mr. Hayward adds, “Having BEC involved in the handling of the EIA process for the interim village is a positive step, in our view. BEC has a clear understanding of the primacy of environmental safeguards.

“In our meetings with BEC as part of the EIA scoping process, BEST was pleased to hear their affirmation that there is zero planning permission so far for any aspect of the end-uses and, with that in mind, the structures erected for the event village must be dismantled and removed once the America’s Cup has departed.”

The EIA documents for the America’s Cup Event Master Plan are available at www.acbda.bm. The public can also contact BEC Ltd. at 400-5990 ext. 22 or 23 for further information or to submit feedback on the EIA documents.

The community is invited to become informed and voice any concerns at two ACBDA public meetings to be held on January 26th in the City of Hamilton and on January 27th in Dockyard.

Mr. Hayward urges members of the community to take advantage of this opportunity to be informed and have their voices heard: “We ask the community to attend the meetings and express any concerns that arise to BEC.

“Come out to either meeting and get involved in protecting this island that we love, the place we live in, the place we’ve grown up in for generations. Together we can find a more sustainable and healthy way to continue living here. Join us in protecting our people and our communities.”

Detailed information on the South Basin landfill Appeal or BEST can be found on the BEST website: www.best.org.bm.

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