Royal Gazette: SDO critics lament sad day for Bermuda
The One Bermuda Alliance has been quick to condemn home affairs minister Walter Roban’s decision to approve a special development order for the Fairmont Southampton hotel, calling the project “staggeringly flawed”.
One environmental group expressed dismay at the ruling, describing it as “a sad day for Bermuda”.
Interim OBA leader Jarion Richardson and Craig Cannonier, the Shadow Minister of Tourism, both issued statements accusing the Government of putting its own interests — and the interests of “big business” — before the welfare of residents.
Claiming that the Government could not be trusted, Mr Richardson said: “Its own interests supersede that of Bermuda and Bermudians.
“This government’s weak negotiations and negotiators have enabled a poorly funded investment to consume the island’s flagship property, impoverish the hotel employees and overdevelop our environment.
“They keep giving away more and more. Now we will have a concrete Southampton skyline, an infrastructure disaster waiting to happen and $75 million in tax concessions.
“To date, Bermuda has entirely surrendered — because this government’s economic policies made us weak and desperate.
“Never mind the fox getting into the chicken coop — now we’re letting the fox design it as well.“
Mr Richardson pointed out that the Government passed laws two years ago that would enable it to approve an SDO without going it being debated in Parliament.
At the time, Mr Roban defended the legislation, claiming: “This is not in the context of any anticipated development.”