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No funds for Southlands review

No money: Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch revealed a lack of funding (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

There is no money in this year’s budget for a review of the Southlands estate management plan.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said: “I indicated in the brief that there’s no funding in this year’s budget for it.”

He was speaking after Sylvan Richards of the One Bermuda Alliance asked about money earmarked for the National Park in Warwick.

Colonel Burch added: “It is a huge task that generates, just by the mere mention of those words, considerable public interest.”

He said that there had been “initial discussions” in the Parks Department about the property but added “Southlands has not had a high profile. I can honestly admit that”.

Colonel Burch said he routinely drove past the estate and was “a little discouraged by the state of it”.

He said a plan for Southlands, drawn up in 2014, would “form the basis of some internal discussions” within the ministry “to see how we can put some meat on that plan”.

He added: “It’s probably a bit of an exaggeration to call it a plan. It’s probably better to call it an outline plan.”

He said that public consultation would follow.

Colonel Burch added: “I expect for that first and second phase of this process to be completed by the end of summer.”

He said that existing ministry resources would “immediately” be utilised “to do some work up there without having to incur additional costs”.

The property on South Shore, Warwick, was designated a National Park last December.

Ewart Brown, a former PLP premier, signed an agreement on behalf of the Government of Bermuda ten years ago with Southlands Ltd to swap 80 acres of land at Morgan’s Point for 37 acres of land at Southlands.

The property was handed over to the Government in 2012.