Group urges people to write to Senators in protest at SDO – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Group urges people to write to Senators in protest at SDO

An environmental organisation has urged members of the public to write to Senators in protest of the controversial development of Tucker's Point Hotel.

Senators are due to debate the special development order that grants planning permission in principle to build private homes and increase the hotel size on the 240-acre Castle Harbour property.

The House of Assembly has already passed it. If Senators reject the SDO, it cannot be tabled at the House of Assembly again for a year. Environmentalists have argued this gives them enough time to work out ways to preserve important habitats and caves on one of the largest remaining areas of undeveloped land in Bermuda.

Andrew Vaucrosson, Greenrock's president, said yesterday: “SDOs have historically been used for planning decisions that unavoidably fall outside the planning approval framework already enshrined in Bermuda's laws and regulations. The development of the US naval and airbases is an example of such an instance.

“Greenrock does not believe the development of green space and protected land for commercial purposes falls outside the scope of normal planning decisions.”

The charity said that while the economic reasons for the SDO to enable the hotel repay millions of dollars in unpaid loans are clear, the development could hurt the future of luxury tourism on the Island as well as the environment.

Mr Vaucrosson said: “We believe that a vital component of future high-end tourism offerings is ecotourism; how can we give ourselves the option to develop this market in Bermuda if we build on our last remaining environmentally sensitive areas.”

“The Government must place its decision to grant the SDO in the context of the overall plan for Bermuda's economic future and this it has failed to do.

“In short, the SDO, as currently conceived, has yet to be justified.

“Greenrock believes that if the people of Bermuda are expected to sacrifice the long term value of a unique part of Bermuda's environment, then the least that we deserve is a detailed and compelling economic case to be presented which must go beyond supporting the short-term interests of private commercial enterprises.”

The charity urged people to raise their concerns by e-mailing the Senators.

Government: Senator David Burch - dburch@gov.bm

Senator Kim Wilson - knwilson@gov.bm

Senator Laverne Furbert - lfurbert@biu.bm

Senator David Burt - dgburt@gov.bm

Senator Cromwell Shakir (not available)

Opposition:

Senator Jeanne Atherden - manderley@logic.bm

Senator Michael Dunkley - mdunkley@ibl.bm

Senator Suzann Roberts Holshouser - sholshouser@logic.bm

Independent:

Senator Carol Ann Marie Bassett - cabassett@gov.bm

Senator Walwyn Hughes - walwyn@northrock.bm

Senator Joan E. Dillas Wright - jdwright@ibl.bm

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Published March 08, 2011 at 8:00 am (Updated March 08, 2011 at 8:54 am)

Group urges people to write to Senators in protest at SDO

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