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Four storey expansion plan for Front Street building rejected

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Frith Building (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Plans to add four storeys of residential units to a Front Street building have been refused by the Development Applications Board over traffic concerns.

William Frith Ltd had proposed an expansion of the Frith Building, located at 57 Front Street, to create a seven-floor mixed use building with the upper levels staggered to reduce the visual impact.

The retail and warehouse elements of the building would remain in place, with four floors containing a total of 13 residential units built on top of the existing structure.

Parking for the new units was proposed for the building’s basement level, which would include seven car spaces and 12 cycle spaces.

In a report recommending the application be refused, a technical officers said the Department of Planning generally supports mixed-use developments – but the developers failed to demonstrate that the project would not result in traffic congestion and road safety problems.

The officer said that there is an existing access to the basement level that crosses over the side walk, which did not confirm with existing policies.

“These nonconforming circumstances are not presently causing detriment to the pedestrian environment or traffic circulation along Front Street given the use is limited with infrequent traffic movements to and from the site,” the officer said.

“The introduction of 13 residential units, which would utilise this access, will inevitably increase the number of traffic movements to and from the site, to the detriment of pedestrians using the public Front Street side walk, and would be likely to cause traffic congestion along Front Street.”

The report also found that while the proposal complied with height restrictions, the developer had not shown that the building would not interfere with the “visual dominance” of the Cathedral on the skyline.

Concerns were also raised about a lack of private outdoor space and communal space, as required under planning policies.

The City of Hamilton also voiced concerns about the impact of the project as the increased use of underground parking would require drivers pass over “the busiest pedestrian side walk in Bermuda”.

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Published August 06, 2021 at 8:04 am (Updated August 06, 2021 at 8:04 am)

Four storey expansion plan for Front Street building rejected

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