Activist opposes Horseshoe Bay concession development
Environmental activist Graeme Outerbridge has spoken out against a proposed redevelopment of the Horseshoe Bay concessions area claiming environmental studies should have been carried out.
“I have a real problem with a facility going in a public park without receiving an environmental impact assessment,” he said. “This site has almost double the footprint of what is there now, he said.
“I think this development has been overshadowed by the Tucker's Point SDO issue, understandably so, but now this is moving forward.”
The plan, which was submitted to the Planning Department in January, proposed a two-phase redevelopment of the site with a new bathroom and shower facility being built first, followed by the construction of a two-storey restaurant.
After the application received letters of concern from environmental groups, developers revised and resubmitted the plans, but Mr Outerbridge said many of his concerns remain.
“Nothing significant has been changed, at least not noticeably,” he said.
He said that the revisions had resolved an issue he had seen with access for private buses, but he felt other concerns including issues with the sewage system and the risk of damage from hurricanes were not dealt with.
“I'm sure the existing facility has probably had some flooding during storms before, but in recent years erosion has made the area more exposed. What used to be a narrow path to the cove is now extremely wide,” he said.
“One only has to look at Japan to see the type of damage that water can do. It's an extreme example, but it is a very powerful thing.”
He also claimed that the development was not a public-private partnership, calling it a “public-public” partnership.
He said that while the development has some merit, including the improvements to the washroom facilities, but said the scale of the project would put additional pressure on the beach.
Instead, he called for a national plan for the Islands beaches, providing amenities on four or five of the Islands beaches, while leaving the rest to remain in a natural state.
“This doesn't seem to be part of any plan, it seems to be a reaction,” he said.
Mr Outerbridge said despite the project already receiving planning permission, he intends to speak with Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Walter Roban in hopes of having some of his concerns addressed.