‘Boring’ Lazy Corner ‘private members club’ scheme rejected
Retroactive plans for an outdoor “private members club” in Flatts have been recommended for refusal despite “significant variations” to the original proposal.
According to the planning application, Lazy Corner was intended to be an extension of the neighbouring Brightside Apartments and Spa featuring televised sports, live music and food.
While the application received support from some nearby businesses, residents in the area complained the proposal would create noise and traffic issues owing to the lack of parking.
In more recent documents, Michael Lightbourne, the owner of Brightside Apartments, said the project would not cause any disruptions in the area.
“While the impression may have been created that I intend to be staging raucous ‘live’ entertainment from Lazy Corner, that could not be farther from the truth of where we are today with my innovations,” the revised letter stated.
“What is intended is a sedate, quiet, serene setting at which everything that happens there is, though professionally hosted, boring by nature.
“No loud music, no unruly crowds, no fanfare, no loud anything.”
The letter argued that in a “post-pandemic tourism industry”, most visitor activities should be responsibly catered to outside to prevent the risk of the spread of illnesses.
While the initial proposal said that it was anticipated that guests would be able to park at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo parking area and be shuttled to Lazy Corner, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said BAMZ had not been consulted.
The revised proposal said that guests would be picked up and taken to the site by shuttle bus service with activities at the site organised through an online booking platform.
Limited parking would be available for Lazy Corner guests at Brightside only between 6am and noon.
Revised drawings of the proposal also included a portable toilet, to be installed behind the food truck.
The changes to the proposal, however, failed to persuade a technical officer to recommend the project be granted approval.
A DAB report said that the proposal was not sensitive to the environmental characteristics of the area.
“The application lot is located within the middle of the picturesque Flatts Village as well as adjacent to the main thoroughfare, and as such is very visible,” the report said.
“The department considers the food truck and associated outdoor lounge use to be too much of a development intensification for the conservation-zoned site.
“The department anticipates that the proposal will have a negative impact on the surrounding area both from a visual standpoint and on the site’s natural ambience.”
The report writer also raised concerns about the revised transportation model’s reliance on a minibus.
“For one, the measures outlined within the justification letter are difficult if not impossible for the Department of Planning to enforce,” the report said.
“Secondly, the department believes that the parking lot located on the main property is presently utilised to its maximum capacity as it serves the guest house, spa and restaurant.
“The department acknowledges that the efforts put forward by the land owner, including the shuttle service, however still believes that the food truck and outdoor lounge will generate a level of traffic which cannot safely be accommodated in the area.”
The report also highlighted the retroactive nature of the application as a reason to refuse it planning approval.
The Lazy Corner application was submitted only after the Department of Planning contacted the owners about unauthorised development on the site including the instillation of a food truck and paving stones on the parcel of land.
“It should be noted that the applicant consulted with other owners of mobile food trucks and claimed the Department of Planning advised that planning permission was not required for the mobile truck,” the report said.
“It was believed by the applicant that only permission from the Department of Health was required. This, however, does not excuse the hard surfacing that was laid without the benefit of planning permission.
“Given the amount of applications submitted over the years, the owner should have been aware to at least inquire with the department.”