Independent inspector on quarry appeal
Outside help has been hired to examine a controversial quarry plan, the Government has announced.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Home Affairs said that an “independent inspector has been recruited to review the application as well as the appeal” for the proposal for an area of land on Judkin Lane, in Hamilton Parish.
But she added: “We can categorically state that the process has been fair according to the legislative requirements.”
The Development Applications Board gave planning permission for one year for quarrying at the site in October.
The quarrying application for the property, owned by Nelson Cordeiro, was made by quarry operator Shawn Perott.
But conservation groups said the Government had forced through the application for the site, which is near Mangrove Lake, a nature reserve.
A spokeswoman for the Bermuda National Trust confirmed last week that the group had appealed the go-ahead for quarrying. The spokeswoman claimed that the application “was not advertised as normal, nor were the details clear, meaning that many of the neighbours and other concerned conservation bodies were denied their right to provide input”.
The appeal has been backed by the Bermuda Audubon Society.
Karen Border, the president of the BAS, said in a letter to The Royal Gazette, that there was “a clear failure in the handling of the quarry application”.
She said that the planning application for the quarry had been published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday, October 9, and not on Friday as was done normally.
Ms Border added that the quarry application was also not included in the list published on October 11 of applications registered between October 3 and October 10.
But the spokeswoman said there was “no legislative requirement to gazette the advertisement every Friday”.
She added: “Prior to the implementation of the online Gazette managed by the Government, past practice was for planning applications to be advertised on a Friday in a local newspaper.
“While advertisements could be gazetted on other days, it incurred an additional cost.
“The new e-Gazette now allows advertisements to be posted on any day, Monday through Friday, free of charge. All other statutory requirements remain to be followed.”
The spokeswoman said that Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, had outlined plans to streamline the planning process earlier this year.
She added: “The e-Gazette is one such example.”
Mr Roban said at a press conference last week [Thursday] that he was not prepared to comment on the complaints about the Judkin Lane plan.
He added: “As would be publicly known, that application is the subject of an appeal.”
Mr Roban said that all the processes that involved development were a matter of public record.
He added: “Anyone can go and see the whole process. The file is open to those who wish to view it. There’s no secret as to the process around these sort of applications.”
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