BEST: Pink Beach “Reneged” On Assurance

December 12, 2014

107aThe Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said they “welcome the efforts being made to re-enliven tourism in Bermuda and recognizes that this will entail new development. In March 2014 BEST issued a press release about the proposed redevelopment of the Pink Beach site.”

BEST said, “At that time we took an optimistic view of the development plans, despite it being somewhat compromised in that the new owner had carved off a significant portion of the tourism-zoned land to be developed as a personal, private residence for him.

“This sub-division meant that the tourism potential could only be realized using 7.5 acres as opposed to the previous total of 13 acres, a real challenge given the difficult economic reality of the times.

“We were assured at the time, that the plans had been revised to reflect the new owner’s intention to protect and reactivate the Agricultural Reserve portion of land in the northwest corner of the site. We now discover, as made public in Wednesday’s Royal Gazette that the developers have reneged on that assurance.

“Newly submitted plans now seek to build residential units on that farmland, along with parking for cars and bikes and a communal area with swimming pool. In addition, the current application is seeking permission to relocate the sewage treatment plant for the whole development onto the farmland as well.

“The owner’s claim that the agricultural plot is “below average quality” is a red herring, and not reason enough to justify their proposal. The quality of farmland can be upgraded by good husbandry, just as the quality was degraded by poor practices such as treating it as a “dumping ground, littered with an abandoned boat and vehicle parts”.

“It must not be that a series of owners could willfully neglect farmland and then use the neglected state as rationale for building on it, thus removing it forever from food production.

“The people of Bermuda have put protections on agricultural land in recognition that this is a finite resource that we will likely have to depend on in the future. In this particular case, the new owner carved-off 5.5 acres of prime real estate for his personal benefit, leaving too little space on which to build a self-sustaining tourism product.

“Again, while we applaud the revitalizing of Pink Beach as a tourism site, we cannot support the loss of the site’s farmland. This is particularly relevant to our position as the developer was allowed to subdivide off a private estate with the stated understanding that the arable land would be preserved and activated.”

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Comments (15)

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  1. Raymond Ray says:

    Who will farm this so called farmland? Best and others must acknowledge we / Bermuda are in dire need of U.S.A dollars and this individual will be investing $51 plus million U.S.A. dollars where there wasn’t anything worth “$h- -” as it had sat for so long :-(
    The property is being utilized and will also become, (not only for the short term)possibly a place of employment for many Bermudian families if they wish to seek employment there. Best or anyone, tell us what will be done (and who will do anything) with the land if this isn’t permitted?

    • Jim says:

      I think what they’re saying is that the land should have been used as part of the tourism part of the development, as opposed to the owner’s private residence?

      Not that it should be worked as farmland?

    • sebring says:

      I tend to agree with best on this one! why is it that you are for selling Bermuda for a short term employment practice !if a deal was made then it should be honored or asked to go else where !with all these developments the only thing that will be created is Another concrete jungle! i agree we in Bermuda need the investment and most of us can not afford to wait but in the long run it is nothing more than a business for short term gain! and the avality of of tourist accomodations once and under threat from ever growing !

    • drunken ursula says:

      Ray Ray you didn’t say that about
      Southlands …..shame on you ….BEST I’m on your side

      • Raymond Ray says:

        @ drunken Ursula allow me to correct you. I did oppose the development prior to the Progressive Labour Party braking ground

        • Raymond Ray says:

          @ drunken Ursula: I stand to be corrected. It had been Grand Atlantic I’d opposed (as well as yes, Southside) But it’s a vast difference between these 3 place, (the former Pink Beach and Southlands, Grand Atlantic)in reference to land mass.

  2. Stunned... says:

    Bermuda has a limited amount of acres with which to sustain a reasonable quality of life for all who reside here. I believe the total acres is a mere 13.3k acres making us the 3rd highest populated place in the world according to some statistics. When persmission is granted by the Bermuda government for development, it is with these parameters in mind, for the current and future generations. For a purchaser to then change the terms of engagement after being granted permission, it is disrespectful and violates the spirit of the planning regulations.

    While I wholeheartedly appreciate Mr.Stephen King’s contribution to the island, he is not above the regulations of the Bermuda Government – monied or not.

  3. Bermudian Thinker says:

    Can someone please let me know what credentials BEST has to make these sort of statements? I do not see any certifications or creditability on their website. Are they qualified to make these type of releases? At current it seems like people stating what they think. We need standards

    • drunken ursula says:

      Ray Ray you didn’t say that about
      Southlands …..shame on you ….BEST I’m on your side

  4. Kim Smith says:

    “The people of Bermuda have put protections on agricultural land in recognition that this is a finite resource that we will likely have to depend on in the future.”

    It is important that we respect the protections that have been placed on land in Bermuda by persons with the expertise to make those determinations, just as it is important that we respect and adhere to the country’s laws, whether or not we personally agree with them.

    In the case of the Pink Beach development, we are talking about a relatively small piece of Agricultural Reserve land which may not have been up for sacrifice had there been more of a balance made in the proportions of the original sub-division.

  5. bluebird says:

    If you cannot get Elected to the Parliment what you do is to become a PAIN in the ***.
    Unless BEST is financed with some Goverment Funds?

    • Kim Smith says:

      You know, constructive comments are so much more valuable to the discussion. I can confirm that BEST does not ask for, nor receives any Government funds.

  6. drunken ursula says:

    thank you Ms. Smith …BEST was everyone friend during the debate between Southlands and the PLP….OBA supporters get over yourselves…..

  7. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    This change in the Pink Beach project I find concerning. Not so much that they want to use farmland for something else, but because it seems to be leading in the direction that was suggested by rumours early on. And because that’s a really awful excuse for wanting to use the land for something else. Most people with even a little bit of garden knowledge know that land can be brought up to par and above with some time and energy.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      Just let these people pour the capital into Bermuda on a reasonable basis so we can create some work for the damn people !!! For crying out loud, this little piece of space isn’t gong to be used for anything other than a Stuart Hayward Meditation field. I am so sick and tired of the bleeding hearts who want to argue against every little thing that is practically positive and that needs to happen on this island – with all these dreamy ideas that have nothing more than esoteric impractical outlooks !
      We spend hours and hours arguing over that little historical building on East Broadway because it was one of the first schools for black children…yet not one person who supposedly cared made an effort to restore it or even just clean it up and that goes for the building opposite Whites and there’s a similar building that was restored by some rich white family over in the area behind Butterfield and Vallis in Devonshire.
      I’m all for practical preservation and I’m a member of the National Trust and a supporter of BEST and an old friend of Stuarts but…this is ridiculous. If I were Minister Fahy and Premier Dunkley along with all the rest of the O.B.A. I wouldn’t even waste my time I’d just do what they were elected to do !