Minister approves fence on coastal reserve land despite Planning officer’s reservations
Environment Minister Sylvan Richards has approved retroactive planning permission for a fence on costal reserve, despite objections.
The Development Applications Board (DAB) refused the application planning permission due in part to the visual impact on the area, but a planning inspector recommended that the application be approved with some amendments.
The application, submitted in August 2011, sought retroactive planning permission for a 235ft fence around 11 Bluck Point Road in Pembroke with an electric gate.
The fence, described as four-feet high chain link fence covered in green-vinyl, was intended to both improve security and contain the occupants’ dogs.
The application received objections from a neighbour, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) and a third party, with chief concerns being the retroactive nature of the application and the visual impact of the Coastal Reserve.
The applicant responded that the majority of the fencing was within wooded areas and was shielded by vegetation.
However the DAB ruled that the application was incompatible with the area’s coastal reserve zoning. The applicant subsequently appealed the decision.
After reviewing the matter, planning Inspector Brian Field said: “Whilst I understand the appellant’s dilemma with regard to the containment of her dogs, I am not convinced by the argument that the fencing significantly increases her security.
“However, this appears to have been tacitly acknowledged by its design and location and the key planning issue therefore involves the suitability of a green vinyl-clad chain-link fence in a coastal reserve zone.
“On this occasion, I believe that it provides a less visually intrusive solution than the alternatives and therefore merits approval.”
However Mr Field said the gate could have been better located to better facilitate traffic in the area.
He recommended that the appeal be granted, but that the electronic gates be relocated to the satisfaction of the technical officers.
A letter written by Permanent Secretary Derrick Binns stated that after reviewing the documents, Mr Richards agreed with Mr Field and upheld the appeal, subject to the conditions put forward by the inspector.
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