Park Hyatt resort moves a step closer
Plans for the proposed Park Hyatt resort have received planning approval with 45 conditions attached.
The Development Applications Board agreed to the controversial plans at a meeting on August 31.
E Michael Jones, representative of developer Carl Bazarian, said last night: “We are very excited to have approval and we look forward to the process of doing the detailed drawings and following that, breaking ground. Park Hyatt is also very excited and looking forward to operating a premier resort in St George’s. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the DAB for their conscientious and careful deliberations of these plans and, on behalf of Carl Bazarian, I would like to indicate that we will honour our commitments to the residents of St George’s.
“We look forward to supporting the business community and the residents of St George’s and we anticipate that once construction gets underway, this will revitalise the town, which deserves and needs it.”
Mr Jones said it could take six to nine months to draft the detailed plans and get them approved.
He said construction could begin immediately afterwards and was likely to take about two years.
An early version of the application was first submitted last September, but was revised due to concerns about plans to adapt Fort Albert into a garden and spa.
Revised plans were submitted earlier this year, leaving the historic fort untouched apart from some possible repairs and moving the spa facility to the resort’s golf club.
The revised plans also proved controversial, receiving hundreds of objections from environmental groups and area residents.
The utilities site, which is expected to include a reverse osmosis plant and a sewage treatment facility had been an area of contention between the developers and residents of the Old Military Road area.
Residents expressed concern that the site, to be constructed near the entrance to the resort, would produce odour and noise.
The developers however maintained that the site would be state-of-the-art and cause no such issues.
According to the minutes of the DAB’s meeting on August 31, some members of the board still expressed concerns about aspects of the resort, including the utilities site.
A section of the minutes reads: “In further discussion of the proposal, some members remained concerned about the proposed utilities site and (felt) that there were alternate sites within the resort better suited to that aspect of the proposal.
“In response, officers reiterated that permission in principle for the utility site in this particular location has been granted by the Special Act. It was therefore not open to members to consider the location at this stage.
“Instead, they needed to be satisfied that detailed issues were acceptable through a combination of proposed plans and supporting conditions.
“In this respect, officers felt that the impact of the utilities site could be successfully mitigated.”
Among the 45 conditions included in the approval were a minimum of 10ft of existing vegetation along Old Military Road should be retained as a buffer around the utility site.
And other technical details, such as the ongoing monitoring of aspects, including the odour and noise of the utility site, must be provided and approved.
Other conditions included in the approval touched on the historical aspects of the site, calling for an engineer’s report on how historic features such as Fort Albert, Fort Victoria and Fort William (Gunpowder Tavern) would be protected or modified.
The approval also reiterated that a hotel must be built before any residential units are conveyed or occupied, a condition that had been included in the ground lease on the site.
The proposed $300-million resort would also include almost 40 buildings, including a 100-room hotel spread over four buildings, 122 residential units, a redesigned golf course and a fitness centre.
An off-site staff housing facility with 90 living quarters is also included in the plans, along with a beachside restaurant on Fort St Catherine’s Beach.