Conservation Areas: Riddell’s Bay & White Crest

December 2, 2022 | 0 Comments

In October 2022, Protected Conservation Areas [PCA] were made in relation to Riddell’s Bay in Warwick and White Crest Hill in Smith’s, Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said in the House of Assembly today [Dec 2].

“The PCA process was introduced in 2021 under Section 25A of the Development and Planning Act 1974,” the Minister said. “PCAs differ from other mechanisms under the Act to protect land and buildings in that, once made, a PCA can only be removed, either whole or in part, by approval of the Legislature. This process can therefore afford a greater degree of protection in the long-term.”

“The PCA at Riddell’s Bay comprises 16.6 acres of the former golf course which is now designated as a Nature Reserve,” Minister Roban said, adding that “the PCA at White Crest Hill comprises areas totalling 3.4 acres which are now designated as Open Space Reserve.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform this Honourable House of the making of Bermuda’s first Protected Conservation Areas [“PCAs”].

Mr. Speaker, the PCA process was introduced in 2021 under Section 25A of the Development and Planning Act 1974 [“the Act”]. PCAs were introduced to allow for the designation of areas for special protection, such as: [1] to protect plants and animals and their habitat, [2] to preserve an area in its natural state by limiting development, [3] to preserve natural or historic monuments, or [4] to protect arable land. PCAs differ from other mechanisms under the Act to protect land and buildings in that, once made, a PCA can only be removed, either whole or in part, by approval of the Legislature. This process can therefore afford a greater degree of protection in the long-term.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to confirm that, on the 31st of October 2022, PCAs were made via the Development and Planning [Fifth Schedule Amendment] Order 2022 in two locations; Riddell’s Bay, Warwick and White Crest Hill, Smith’s.

Mr. Speaker, the PCA at Riddell’s Bay comprises 16.6 acres of the former golf course which is now designated as a Nature Reserve, to be allocated principally for plants and habitat for local wildlife. This PCA followed a Special Development Order which approved a low-density residential subdivision of 18 lots.

Mr. Speaker, the PCA at White Crest Hill comprises areas totalling 3.4 acres which are now designated as Open Space Reserve, to remain as such in perpetuity for the enjoyment of the public. This PCA followed a subdivision approval of 13 residential lots.

Mr. Speaker, the making of both of these PCAs, especially in the case of Riddell’s Bay, represents significant public and environmental benefits and demonstrates what can be achieved through the planning process.

Mr. Speaker, to this end, I would like to recognise and applaud the efforts of the developer, Castile Holdings, who have invested over 1 million dollars on landscaping work across the wider Riddell’s Bay Gardens and Nature Reserve, which has resulted in the planting of more than 2,000 trees and the removal of numerous invasive species.

Mr. Speaker, the making of these Protected Conservation Areas is a key step in the ongoing efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment of Bermuda. These cases, together with the preceding subdivision approvals, highlight the proactive role of the Department of Planning to achieve positive outcomes through constructive collaboration with developers.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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