Grand Atlantic plans mysteriously disappear

Plans for the Grand Atlantic condominium complex have mysteriously disappeared from the Department of Planning.

Staff members have indicated that the plans vanished a while ago. The Ministry of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy is now investigating the matter.

According to Environment Minister Marc Bean, a new set of plans will be reprinted and made available for public scrutiny.

The matter came to light when The Royal Gazette visited the Planning Department on Tuesday to examine the Grand Atlantic file.

A file was presented but no-one could say where the actual plans were. Staffers appeared clueless when questioned and planning director Trevor Leach did not make himself available to discuss that matter.

It is understood that a steady stream of people interested in viewing the plans have been sent home luckless in recent months.

One Warwick resident said she had been told by a staffer that plans for special development order projects are not normally made available to the public.

“The Department of Planning regrets that the plans are not currently available, is investigating why this is so, and have ordered a new set of plans. As soon as the plans have been reprinted, they will once again be available to the public,” said Mr Bean.

“The Department of Planning wishes to clarify that all plans submitted to the department in support of a development application are available for public scrutiny, including those approved via a special development order.”

Stuart Hayward of Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce was unimpressed when told that the plans of the controversial project had disappeared.

“We would expect that a full set of all relevant documents would be available,” he said.

“The plans should be available and they should not only be available to the public but particularly available to those people who have a stake in the development. That would include ourselves because we are concerned about the environmental impact and the social impact of the development.

“We don’t know where the hotel is going to be built. So this issue of not having access to the plans is a very important one.”

Mr Hayward added: “It’s a key one for the developer who should be held accountable. It’s a key one for the residents and it’s important for organisations like yourselves who are trying to inform the public.”

The Warwick resident, who does not want to be named, said that activity at the site was of concern to people in the area.

“I see a lot of buildings, nine of them, and a major excavation where they have moved sand and I have no idea what is going to be built there,” she said.

“I want to know what it’s going to look like. Right now it’s high density and lots of concrete. So I went to Planning and the site plans are not in the files.

“People in the area are very concerned. It’s a major excavation and no plans are available.”

The Planning Department moved from the Government Administration Building to the new Dame Lois Browne Evans a year ago.

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Published May 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm (Updated May 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm)

Grand Atlantic plans mysteriously disappear

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