Development, Community, Conservation Strategy

February 15, 2019 | 5 Comments

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [Feb 15], Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban spoke about the Draft Bermuda Plan 2018, which has “three complementary strategies provide a balanced framework for making informed decisions on planning applications.”

The Minister said, “The Department of Planning has conducted a full review of the Bermuda Plan 2008, and prepared a new Draft Bermuda Plan 2018. The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 is currently the subject of an extensive public consultation exercise whereby people can submit objections or representations prior to finalisation of the Plan.

“The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 is based upon three overarching strategies which guide the objectives, policies and zonings set out within the Draft Plan. The three strategies are:

  • The Development Strategy
  • The Community Strategy; and
  • The Conservation Strategy.

“The three complementary strategies provide a balanced framework for making informed decisions on planning applications.

“In terms of the Development Strategy, it is essential that we have enough land in appropriate locations for different types of development to sustain and support the economic growth of our Island. The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 therefore sets out zonings for commercial, industrial, institutional, tourism and residential land uses to support the economic health of Bermuda.

“The Community Strategy is aimed at encouraging and promoting healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and physical exercise, and fostering a sense of ‘community’ and social interaction. The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 contains a new chapter on ‘Healthy Communities’ which seeks to address these issues, whilst also providing the planning framework for the creation of future community action plans.

“The Conservation Strategy focuses on protecting ecologically sensitive areas and habitats, open spaces and agricultural land. This includes Agricultural Reserves, Woodland Reserves, Parks, Nature Reserves, Coastal Reserves, Open Space Reserves and Recreation areas.

“The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 was published on 3rd December and is subject to a three month public consultation period which finishes on Friday, 15th March 2019.

“Throughout this period, the Department of Planning is holding public exhibitions at venues in the City of Hamilton, Dockyard, the Town of St. George and the Farmers Market in the Botanical Gardens as well as holding presentations and meetings with stakeholders.

“Members of the public are invited to talk to technical officers, to learn how the Draft Plan affects them, and to submit objections and comments on any of the objectives, policies or zonings in the Draft Plan by 15th March.

“Once the plan is finalised, we intend to fulfil our Throne Speech commitment to introduce legislation to protect the designation of the Island’s important conservation and agricultural areas, and open spaces.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to highlight the importance of the Bermuda Plan process in protecting our remaining open spaces.

Mr. Speaker, you will remember during the Government’s inaugural 2017 Speech from the Throne, we committed “to identify the open spaces that must be protected for generations to come. Legislation will be introduced to take this protection beyond ministerial discretion.”

However, in order for this important commitment to be met, it is essential that we have an appropriate framework in place to manage and plan for a balanced approach towards how we utilize our land.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Planning has conducted a full review of the Bermuda Plan 2008, and prepared a new Draft Bermuda Plan 2018. The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 is currently the subject of an extensive public consultation exercise whereby people can submit objections or representations prior to finalisation of the Plan.

Mr. Speaker, the Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 is based upon three overarching strategies which guide the objectives, policies and zonings set out within the Draft Plan. The three strategies are:

  • The Development Strategy
  • The Community Strategy; and
  • The Conservation Strategy.

The three complementary strategies provide a balanced framework for making informed decisions on planning applications. In terms of the Development Strategy, it is essential that we have enough land in appropriate locations for different types of development to sustain and support the economic growth of our Island. The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 therefore sets out zonings for commercial, industrial, institutional, tourism and residential land uses to support the economic health of Bermuda.

The Community Strategy is aimed at encouraging and promoting healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and physical exercise, and fostering a sense of ‘community’ and social interaction. The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 contains a new chapter on “Healthy Communities” which seeks to address these issues, whilst also providing the planning framework for the creation of future community action plans.

The Conservation Strategy focuses on protecting ecologically sensitive areas and habitats, open spaces and agricultural land. This includes Agricultural Reserves, Woodland Reserves, Parks, Nature Reserves, Coastal Reserves, Open Space Reserves and Recreation areas.

Mr. Speaker, the Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 was published on 3rd December and is subject to a three month public consultation period which finishes on Friday, 15th March 2019. Throughout this period, the Department of Planning is holding public exhibitions at venues in the City of Hamilton, Dockyard, the Town of St. George and the Farmers Market in the Botanical Gardens as well as holding presentations and meetings with stakeholders. Members of the public are invited to talk to technical officers, to learn how the Draft Plan affects them, and to submit objections and comments on any of the objectives, policies or zonings in the Draft Plan by 15th March.

Mr. Speaker, the Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 can play an important part in assisting with the delivery of the Government’s Health Strategy and Crop Strategy by utilizing agricultural land for local food production and encouraging the use of open spaces for passive and active recreation. The Department of Planning will be working alongside the Parish Councils and Parish communities to prepare community action plans and facilitate community improvements. These initiatives may include the creation of community gardens in under-utilized areas of Agricultural Reserve where people can learn the fundamental skills required to grow crops.

The preparation of an Island-wide development plan is a complex and time-consuming process which must take into account a wide range of issues. The Draft Bermuda Plan is based upon sound evidence, and members of the public are strongly encouraged to provide their input into the Plan through the ongoing public consultation exercise.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind Honourable Members and the general public that the consultation exercise concludes on Friday 15th March. Following the conclusion of the public consultation period, all objections and representation will be fully considered by technical officers within the Department of Planning before the commencement of a Tribunal. The Tribunal will then make recommendations to the Minister for Home Affairs before the Plan is finalised.

Once the plan is finalised, we intend to fulfil our Throne Speech commitment to introduce legislation to protect the designation of the Island’s important conservation and agricultural areas, and open spaces.

Thank you. Mr. Speaker

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Comments (5)

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  1. JohnnyB says:

    Anyone seen Burt? Is he still the Premier?

  2. trump supporter says:

    you guys can floats balloons, all the hot air.

  3. cicada says:

    Nowhere in the Throne Speech is protecting Conservation Areas mentioned. What is he talking about?

  4. cicada says:

    Ah ha – Throne Speech _2017_: p.18

    “Bermuda’s planning laws and regulations are in place to ensure that Bermuda’s environment and beauty are not spoiled by rampant development and construction.

    Accordingly, as certain determined property owners construct at will and then apply for retroactive permission, legislation will be introduced to increase enforcement and introduce penalties for those who wilfully violate planning policy and then seek retroactive approval.

    As a further commitment to ensure Bermuda’s future generations can also enjoy our dwindling amount of unspoiled beauty, the Government will identify the open spaces that must be protected for generations to come. Legislation will be introduced to take this protection beyond ministerial discretion.”

  5. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The Draft Bermuda Plan 2018 was published on 3rd December and is subject to a three month public consultation period which finishes on Friday, 15th March 2019.”

    3 months rather than 10 days (4 of which are weekends) sounds better

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