Plan for Morgan’s Point road rejected
A plan to build a new road to access Morgan’s Point has been refused by the Development Application’s Board.
The road, which would pass through the area south of George’s Bay Dive and north of 5 Middle Road, was intended to provide improved access to the resort property.
However, a technical officer recommended the plan be rejected, with the board noting that the military base which previously occupied the site was able to use Georges Bay Road with no issues.
Phase 1 of development in the area has already begun, with Caroline Bay, Bermuda expected to open next year with 35 branded condominium residences and a five-star, 79-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel.
Plans for the second phase include a commercial development along a boardwalk that runs alongside the harbour and a large upscale hotel with potential for a world-class casino on the peninsula.
According to the minutes of the DAB’s December 14 meeting, the board questioned the need for the proposed road when access to the area already exists.
“The technical officer noted that the applicant had stated that, through consultation with realtors, the new roadway would allow for the Phase 1 residential units to be more marketable from an aesthetic perspective,” the minutes stated.
“The board asked what would preclude the applicant from beautifying Georges Bay Road. The technical officer confirmed that nothing would preclude them from applying for this as an option but this had not been desired by the applicant.
“The technical officer also confirmed that Georges Bay Road was shown to be appropriate for Phase 1 and 2, with improvements, but the use of this roadway is not preferable to the applicant.”
Asked who would foot the bill for the new road if approved, the technical officer said that the developer would pay for the initial work, however the Bermuda Government would be responsible for maintenance afterward as it would be a public road.
According to the minutes, the board asked the technical officer if the Department of Planning would support the new road if Phase 2 of the project was to go forward, to which the officer explained that revised data would need to be considered.
“The board queried whether Phase 2 is likely to proceed,” the minutes continued. “The technical officer did not have any information to confirm either way. However, it was indicated that the certainty of Phase 2 much depended on the success of residential units associated with the Phase 1 development.”
And while the owner of the property involved had not objected to the proposed road, the project would involve the use of land zoned as agricultural reserve.
“It was concluded by the Department of Planning that Bermuda does not have an ample amount of good quality arable land and that the data provided does not support the need for a new roadway which will result in the loss of such a valuable resource,” the minutes stated.
“As such, it is premature to request the Department and, ultimately, the DAB to support a roadway which is based on a phase of development which may or may not happen.
“Further, there is little in the way of planning gain with the proposed development and more in the way of using/beautifying an existing roadway while preserving prime agricultural reserve.”
The board subsequently resolved to support the department’s recommendation and refuse the application.
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