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Irate resort neighbours vow to organise for objections

Bob Richards, a former MP and neighbour of the project, addresses the Azura and Nautilus development town hall meeting (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Warwick residents weary of lengthy heavy construction at the Azura and Nautilus tourism and condo complex have been promised a meeting with the minister responsible for planning.

Lawrence Scott, the MP for Warwick South East, told a town hall meeting last night, attended by roughly 65 neighbours and area residents, that Department of Planning approval for aspects of the project could potentially get rescinded if “new and vital information comes in”.

Mr Scott said: “The constituency and myself as MP are not against development that enhances our tourism product.

“However, what we are against is development for development’s sake — development that does not take into consideration the neighbours and residents and those that not just live in the area but utilise the area.”

Mr Scott implored residents to do their homework and submit detailed objections to the Department of Planning, now under the purview of Cabinet office minister Vance Campbell.

“Highlight the fact that the previous construction project caused sediment to go into your tank. Show receipts for what you have spent. Show the cracks in the foundations of your homes. Show where sand has come into the road clogging up drainage.”

He said he would raise the issue with Mr Campbell and request for the minister to attend a community meeting.

Bob Richards, a neighbour of the development and a former One Bermuda Alliance minister, called on objectors to combine their voices in a formal letter to the planning department.

The Azura and Nautilus complex has been hailed as a high-end investment in Bermuda’s product overlooking the South Shore, with the construction and its on-site jobs generating much needed employment.

However, Mr Richards said it had ground on for years, with new phases of development and “a change of gears” to the original plans presented.

He added that the scale of the development went unappreciated because its true size could not be seen to the casual eye from South Road.

“They are taking a bite out of this hill — a big bite,” he said.

Although plans for a four-storey condo block on the hilltop have been turned down by the Department of Planning, Mr Richards showed an image of what had been proposed, as rendered by an architectural firm at his request.

He said the condo block would have looked like “the Bermuda version of Miami Beach”.

Mr Richards claimed the planning department’s method of informing the public was part of the problem.

“The way the system works is you and I have to go looking for it, digging into the planning website just to find these things.”

Mr Scott sounded a further warning, telling the gathering: “This is just one development. There is a second proposal for the other side of Astwood Walk. The vista we enjoy here on the South Shore as the gold coast of Bermuda is threatened.”

He said the Azura complex had an impact on 20 per cent of the constituency as whole, but the neighbouring development would affect a further 5 per cent, or 300 residents in 194 homes.

The night closed with a promise of more meetings.

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Published November 23, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated November 23, 2023 at 9:18 am)

Irate resort neighbours vow to organise for objections

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