BEST Comments On Cross Island Consultation

July 31, 2016

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said they “would like to applaud the Cross Island Committee on their outreach and consultation efforts seeking ideas for making best use of Cross Island, once the America’s Cup Event Village has vacated the area.”

“We are also appreciative of the Committee for recognising and responding to our concerns, raised at an earlier public consultation, for the need of an environmentalist presence and viewpoint on the Committee,” BEST said.

“Since then the Committee has been joined by a representative of Greenrock. We welcome this development.

“We believe Greenrock’s representation will ensure an environmentalist voice is included in the Committee’s deliberations. Meanwhile, this appointment allows BEST to continue in its role as an external and independent watchdog on this project.

Aerial footage of the infill at Cross Island early in the construction phase

“Turning to the development of Cross Island itself, and outside of the Committee’s request for development ideas, we believe that it is important that the following issues be considered:

  • “There is a general lack of open space in Bermuda, and it is BEST’s position that up to 40% of Bermuda should ideally be reserved for green open space. This is vitally important for the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of our people, and this should be reflected in the development here.
  • The area immediately to the south of Cross Island is one of the most productive marine areas on the island. Consequently, any development on Cross Island, now or in the future, must avoid any leakage that could harm that environment. With that in mind,
  • Any development of the site, temporary or permanent, should be subject to a credible Environmental Impact Assessment, as well as a Sustainability Impact Assessment.
  • It is important that a clear picture of the carrying capacity of Dockyard for visitors and locals be determined, especially in light of perhaps under­utilised carrying capacity in St George’s and Hamilton to cater to visitors and tourists.
  • The impact of any development in Dockyard on related infrastructure and resources such as transport, waste management and energy needs to be determined, along with the impact of any development on the Somerset Economic Empowerment Zone.
  • We are aware of past plans for developments of the Victualling Yard in Dockyard and we think it is important that the current plans for this site, and Dockyard as a whole, be made available by Wedco to help better inform the decision making for the Cross Island site.
  • Any such development should be either zero carbon or as low carbon as possible [in terms of greenhouse gas emissions].

“The potential development of Cross Island, and nearshore development throughout Bermuda, needs to be done in a sustainable manner to avoid a cycle of boom and bust and over­ [or wasted­] development.

“To this end, it would be useful that the Government complete the comprehensive nearshore zoning plan for the Bermuda platform.

“Our marine environment faces increasing challenges, and requires a balanced and sustainable approach to marine planning.

“Developments like Cross Island should be informed by and adhere to such a marine spatial plan.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Terry says:

    Gotta love BEST.
    40%?

    So I have to sell my 6 acres and or give it away?

    Shalom.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Sort of like neighbours who don’t want you to build because you will destroy ‘THEIR’ view. Oh really! It is, is it.

  2. BEST Idea says:

    I think that keeping it open space is a wonderful idea!
    If that is what BEST wants, all they have to do is put up $39 million.

    • Umpire says:

      It appears by your comment that you come from a perspective of privilege and power – if I spend it I decide it.

      The $39 million and counting was spent without even the thought of involving broad representation from our Bermuda community. This Cross Island ‘consultation’ process is an after the spend, court ordered, process of community consultation.

      If we slow the process down to an authentic community consultation, we can uncouple the money from the use as the community is paying for Cross Island regardless if they like, want or need the new nine acres.

      This spend first, consult later approach models our current political system of power, privilege and self-dealing.

      Open up your books WEDCo, BELCO, Government, Contractors etc. and share your financials on Cross Island.

      • BEST Idea says:

        WEDCo books are open, and audited by the Auditor General annually.

  3. ROGER says:

    BEST is NEEDED, THANK YOU. They a Group that helps to negotiate Bermuda’s Environmental Better future (thanks for any other group too). If they were not there, Bermuda maybe only in the hands of the Government, Developers & Financiers, and they may be only for their wants.

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    Dockyard is a commercial area. It is a hub for marine activity. Whatever happens to Cross Island should be marine related. That simple. Marine businesses cannot operate inland. Land related activity does not need water frontage.