Royal Gazette: Government notes objections to Fairmont Southampton SDO
An “early objection” by a conservation charity to proposed residential units at the Fairmont Southampton resort has been noted, a home affairs ministry spokesman said.
He added that no formal application had been received from the developer, but residents will be asked for feedback after a request is made.
The spokesman responded to The Royal Gazette after the Bermuda National Trust, in a Letter to the Editor, raised concerns about “the addition of the 147 proposed residential units” at the site.
Westend Properties, an affiliate of Miami-based investment firm Gencom, which is leading development of the resort, said in a February update that a new application for a special development order was “in the process of being submitted”.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs said: “While we note the early objection by the BNT, the Department of Planning has yet to receive a formal application for the Fairmont Southampton site.
“The minister and ministry cannot comment until the application and environmental impact assessment are published.
“Once published, the public will be invited to review and comment.”
He added: “With that in mind, we thank the BNT for their response submitted in advance of all required information, which will form part of any formal application and EIA, and as part of the process, we will review it along with any other submissions received.”
An SDO granted in 2009 gave planning permission in principle at the Fairmont Southampton resort for 71 fractional tourism properties, 37 residential villas and 22 town homes.
Karen Border, the trust’s executive director, wrote last week: “BNT strongly supports the Bermuda tourism industry, which is such an important part of our economy and of our cultural heritage.
“For this reason, we understand that building additional fractional tourism units on the Fairmont Southampton site may be necessary to make the hotel renovation more financially viable and to increase visitor beds and local job opportunities.
“However, we are extremely concerned with the proposed new Special Development Order, which would double the number and height of the buildings proposed in 2009 from 130 to 261 units, some of them six storeys high, saturating all the remaining open space on the site — apart from the golf course — in concrete.
“Our primary concern is with the addition of the 147 proposed residential units, most of which will be sold to foreign buyers as second homes and would bring very limited benefit to Bermuda and Bermudians.”