Fire at 9 Beaches, remaining tenants evicted
The remaining tenants of the former 9 Beaches resort in Sandys were evicted yesterday morning as the prolonged dispute over the site continued.
The order was given by the Deputy Provost Marshall General on behalf of Bermuda Land Development Company.
Roughly 12 “squatters” had been living in the former resort property.
Throughout the afternoon a handful of security personnel restricted access to the site, escorting residents through the property so they could collect their belongings. As the eviction began a fire broke out, with two mattresses set ablaze, requiring action from the Fire Services.
The BLDC confirmed that “the few remaining occupants” were being removed.
According to a spokeswoman, the morning’s events were the culmination of a year-long process as a result of a court order for vacant possession that was granted on December 22, 2015.
“Unfortunately, IRC Sandys Ltd had sublet the property without the consent, authorisation or knowledge of BLDC. BLDC returned to court and, on October 11, 2016, occupants were given 60 days’ notice to vacate the property.
“This was extended to January due to the Christmas period. Furthermore, no rent has been received from the occupants by BLDC and BLDC has been paying the electricity bill since IRC Sandys Ltd exited the property last year.”
Francis Mussenden, CEO of the BLDC, said the decision was “never an easy option and one we’ve tried diligently over the last year to avoid”.
“Having exhausted all our options, we’re disappointed to be left with no other choice but to evict the occupants.”
Along with the fire service, vehicles were seen passing through the entrance of 9 Beaches including police, a Belco truck and several trucks carrying assorted items such as mattresses and deflated boats.
Residents approached by The Royal Gazette declined to comment, while efforts to contact their lawyer have been unsuccessful as of press time. According to Fire Services spokesman Delton White, they discovered two mattresses on fire at the old staff quarters lounge.
“Firefighters dressed in full protective gear then extinguished the fire before it could spread any farther,” he said.
“There was minor smoke and fire damage to the building and no one was hurt as a result of the incident.”
9 Beaches at Daniel’s Head was originally developed as an ecologically friendly resort, but shut down in 2010.
It was then leased to IRC Sandys six years ago, with plans for an $80 million revamp, but the project was unable to secure financing.
Ultimately, the Supreme Court awarded BLDC a writ of possession against the company, and occupants of the development were advised to leave.