Royal Gazette: Minister under further pressure to say no to Fairmont SDO

Royal Gazette: Minister under further pressure to say no to Fairmont SDO

A second environmental group has urged the Government to reject a request for a special development order by Fairmont Southampton hotel developers.

The Bermuda National Trust issued the plea after the controversial SDO application by Westend Properties Limited went before the Development Applications Board last week.

The DAB has the authority to recommend to the Government whether or not an SDO should be approved, but the final decision rests with the Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban.

The DAB website is down because of the cyberattack, so minutes are not available and there has been no comment from board members reached by The Royal Gazette on their decision, nor have questions to the ministry been answered.

The resort, which was shut in 2021, is to undergo a major revamp under the proposal and is seen by the Government as key to revitalising the island’s tourism industry.

The Government has granted Westend millions of dollars in tax breaks to push the development forward, and also backed the company’s proposals to build hundreds of residential units on the environmentally sensitive property.

But the plans, which include building residential units in blocks of up to four storeys — have been hit with criticisms since they were first unveiled in April.

In a statement yesterday, the Bermuda National Trust noted that the Government’s own planning officers had submitted a 61-page review of the application to the DAB, advising that it should not go ahead.

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September 27, 2023 News