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Planners approve Harrington Sound hotel cottage scheme

A former pumphouse near Shark Hole Hill that is to be turned into a hotel cottage (Photograph from planning documents)

Plans to build a hotel cottage on the site of a former pumphouse on the coastline of Harrington Sound have been given the green light.

The plan, submitted by RWTP Hotels, was recommended for approval by technical officers despite concerns voiced by environmental groups.

In June, the Development Applications Board deferred its decision after members questioned the sightlines for those attempting to enter or leave the property.

In a meeting last week, the board voted 7-1 to approve the plans.

The minutes of the meeting said that the agent for the project had provided additional information, including discussions between the agent and the Highways Department.

The board also questioned sightlines for the area and were told that plans to clear out invasive plants from the plot would likely improve them.

“If approved, the applicant intends on doing further sightline tests to ensure the palm trees do not interfere and, if necessary, remove any that do impact sightlines,” the minutes said.

“In addition, low planting will be installed, which will have to be maintained to a maximum three feet, which takes into account an individual sitting on a cycle or in a car.

“The maintenance aspect has been added to the condition of approval dealing with sightlines.

“The technical officer noted that on the flip side if the vegetation grows to five feet, sightlines will be impacted, but the onus is on the applicant to maintain vegetation to ensure sightlines.”

RWTP Hotels submitted the planning application to build a hotel cottage at the site of the former pump house at the base of Shark Hole Hill in Hamilton Parish this year.

The developer also sought approval for a conservation management plan to remove invasive species and support native plants in the surrounding coastline.

However, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, the Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Audubon Society filed objections to prevent development on the coastal site.

In addition to environmental concerns about the project, the BNT raised the possibility that the site may have historically been used for ship-building and the area should be archaeologically assessed.

The groups also feared that the location of the site on a major public road would create a threat to motorists.

However, the planning officer downplayed the concerns in the DAB report, stating: “Since the cottage will be utilised as a hotel, key vehicular traffic will be limited, with the proposed lay-by demonstrating it can achieve minimum sightlines and permits for on-site turnaround, a necessity on the busy road.”

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Published July 31, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated July 31, 2023 at 7:56 am)

Planners approve Harrington Sound hotel cottage scheme

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