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Properties in North East Hamilton identified as being ripe for redevelopment

More than 20 properties in North East Hamilton have already been identified as ripe for redevelopment after the area was granted special planning status, MPs heard last week.

Jason Hayward, the economy minister, said 23 properties had been earmarked so far, comprising 11 that are currently for sale; six that have previous planning approval for multistorey, mixed-use or residential development; and six that are derelict or in a vacant condition.

As an Economic Empowerment Zone, North East Hamilton is subject to markedly more relaxed planning rules under a new plan for the area which allows wider flexibility when deciding on the design of new buildings.

There are no limits on the height of new structures in the designated area under the urban strategy, which also provides greater decision-making discretion to the Development Applications Board regarding buildings.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour (File photograph)

Mr Hayward, who was giving an update on approved residential scheme guidelines, said such properties were now listed online, and similar ones in Somerset and St George’s EEZs would receive similar treatment.

Being an approved residential scheme within the EEZ, non-Bermudians are allowed to purchase residential units.

In the past the OBA has warned that locals could be priced out of the area but in an apparent reference to “gentrification”, Mr Hayward said: “To offset the potential negative impact of the EEZ regeneration, when reviewing an application the minister shall consider affordability as well as how the development project will prevent the displacement of current lower-income residents and persons currently operating businesses in the area.

“This ministry is resolute that this initiative will prevent the displacement of current residents and business owners in the EEZs and that rents and the costs of doing business will remain affordable for tenants and residents.”

The minister said that changes “now permit a restricted person, both local companies and exempted companies, to purchase any unit — freehold property, condominium or tourist accommodation — that forms part of an approved residential scheme, without restriction.

“This also applies to the rental of property.”

“Approved residential schemes are essentially development proposals either fully comprised of residential units or mixed-uses comprised of commercial spaces and residential units.”

The minister said the BEDC has already been holding informal meetings with developers and arranging site visits to “highlight the identified opportunity properties” since 2021.

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Published July 19, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated July 19, 2022 at 7:55 am)

Properties in North East Hamilton identified as being ripe for redevelopment

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