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Residents object to Grand Atlantic plans

Included in the objections are two petitions, which together include more than 120 signatures against continued development at the site.

The application by Atlantic Development (BDA) Ltd seeks to build 52 units in three two-story buildings, parking for 71 cars and 53 motorcycles in a south shore area previously earmarked for 47 housing units as part of the Grand Atlantic housing project.

However the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) launched a campaign last month to generate objections to the proposal.

As of the June 14 deadline, more than 45 letters of objection had been received by the Department of Planning, including two petitions from Warwick residents protesting the project.

The majority of the received objections repeated BEST’s concerns, stating that the project is “yet another case in which an SDO granted for a hotel/housing combination where the hotel was never built”.

Other concerns included the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment, a lack of perceived interest, the density of the site and the site’s proximity to a cliff face.

Objectors listed a litany of complaints about the completed buildings on the site, describing them as “dreary, un-Bermudian tenements”, “horrible boxes” and “abominations”.

Joan Cabral wrote: “Every time I drive by, I shudder. I find the buildings far too large for the area, far too much concrete and totally inappropriate for the location.”

In another letter of objection, Steve Thomson described the Grand Atlantic project as a “Bermudian disaster on a multitude of levels”, claiming that virtually no one supports further development on the site.

“Economically, the Government has been saddled with a development that is not wanted and not [sellable],” he wrote.

“Visually, it has scarred the landscape and destroyed views for all the surrounding neighbourhoods. Housing wise, it has served no purpose and has been essentially rejected by Bermudians.”

Keren Lomas meanwhile said that the fact the SDO was granted in the first place reflects poorly on the Department of Planning, calling for the existing site to be demolished.

“I realise that this would mean compensating the one purchaser of the unit there, but this reimbursement of the purchase price must be a small price to pay to put this property back as a piece of park land with access to the ocean,” she said.

The Grand Atlantic project was initially announced in 2007 as a 220-room hotel. Two years later, the project had become a 100-room hotel with 125 affordable housing units.

The Bermuda Housing Corporation agreed to purchase the first 78 units and had the option of purchasing the final 47. Despite the offer of 100 percent financing, only one of the units has been sold.

It was revealed last year that the BHC elected to not purchase the final units, but developer Gilbert Lopes said he hoped to continue with construction, replacing the two- and three-bedroom units included in the final phase with single-bedroom units.

In March, Mr Lopes posted an advertisement in

The Royal Gazette to gauge interest in one-bedroom condos. At that time he also said the planned hotel is still on the cards, and that the search for investors was ongoing.

Grand Atlantic: Plans for further development have been met with about 50 written objections

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Published June 28, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm)

Residents object to Grand Atlantic plans

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