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Industrial development plans face refusal

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Traffic approaching Earl’s Lane in Smith’s, which has drawn objections from area residents (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Controversial plans for an industrial development that came under fire from neighbouring residents face being recommended for refusal.

The proposal by the shipping company Fast Forward Freight to create a container depot in an old quarry within a Smith’s neighbourhood should either be withdrawn or can be turned down by the Development Applications Board, according to a February 9 letter from a technical officer.

The letter to architects for the development cited a potential for a “vast increase of traffic”.

Objections came in the wake of a September 2021 deadline for input on plans for the site off Lolly’s Well Road, a residential area overlooking Harrington Sound.

The lots at Earl’s Lane would require container trucks to negotiate Lolly’s Well Road, which residents told The Royal Gazette in September presented “unacceptable risks”.

Manor House Properties, a condominium owners’ association at the road’s junction with Harrington Sound Road, said trucks attempting the turn for the existing business at Earl’s Lane struck the Manor House Bridge over the main road with “alarming regularity”.

Previous industrial uses for the site drew complains about noise.

This month’s letter from a development management planner found the turn onto Lolly’s Well Road was “not conducive” to 20ft container trucks, with a limited sight line for drivers.

Sections of the road’s surface show “deteriorated” asphalt.

The letter added: “Finally, it is noted there is no sidewalk or shoulder on LWR for pedestrian refuge.”

A truck turning onto Lolly’s Well Road is shown by an area resident having to make a difficult turn off Harrington Sound Road (File photograph)

It found that the “potential overall cumulative traffic” fell afoul of the Bermuda Plan 2018.

The applicants were given until today to indicate whether the application was to be withdrawn, or recommended for refusal.

George Corday, who lives near the turn onto Lolly’s Well Road, said he was “surprised the traffic hasn’t taken out the wall”.

“It’s terrible. I feel sorry for people who live up Lolly’s Well Road. It’s not just on weekdays.”

He added: “Trucks have to go into high gear going up. They are not meant for our roads.”

Industrial activity at Earl’s Lane at the top of Lolly’s Well Road goes back decades, including a cement works, but has repeatedly drawn complaints from residents.

Objections to the freight company’s proposals were addressed by architects Botelho Wood in a letter to Planning on October 1.

The company said the warehouse would qualify as “light industrial” use with no operations that would cause vibrations, fumes, dust or grit.

The letter added: “All levels of privacy and light will remain the same for the surrounding properties.

“The level of wind and the views will also remain the same, as the building is set into the existing rock-cut that is roughly 30ft below the surrounding residential lots.

“The zoning has been set as light industry; we are not asking for anything beyond what is allowed to be developed in light industry.”

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Published February 22, 2022 at 11:47 am (Updated February 22, 2022 at 11:47 am)

Industrial development plans face refusal

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