Funicular plan for new South Shore resort derailed
Plans to build a funicular railway at a resort created out of a failed affordable housing project have been scrapped.
The showpiece funicular at the Bermudiana Beach Resort on South Road, Warwick would have connected the clifftop site with the beach.
The news came in a fresh planning application submitted for the site.
The application for the resort included the creation of a new two-storey reception building and an events support building with a kitchen and restrooms on the west side of the site.
One of the existing buildings on the north east side of the site – Block C – would be modified to add a restaurant as well as a loading dock, basement and terrace.
The building would also have a gym on the second floor and a spa on the third floor.
The proposals also featured a moongate and a pool with deck on the south side of the site, along with a poolside bar and grill.
The new plans included a flight of stairs and an elevator on the southeast side of the resort to replace the funicular access to the beach.
No details were provided as to why the funicular was not included in the proposal. Questions have been submitted to the firm behind the plan, Brunel Ltd.
The funicular sparked objections from environmental groups who were concerned about the effect the development would have on the cliff face.
They also questioned whether the structure would be able handle the impact of hurricanes.
The Bermudiana Beach Resort – originally the Grand Atlantic housing development – was expected to open in 2020.
But financing problems caused the opening date to be pushed back until next March.
Plans to renovate the site were earlier approved, but David Burt, the Premier, also the tourism minister, announced earlier this year that new plans would be drawn up with the backing of the Hilton hotel franchise.
Contractor BCM started work on the resort after a loan backed by a $10 million government guarantee was approved in June 2021.
But the Bermudiana Development Company dropped its development partners MacLellan & Associates, CBE Holdings and Bermuda Realty in September last year.
Mr Burt said the resort developer had hired engineering firm Brunel Limited, a Bermudian company involved in several major hotel projects, and Miami-based RAD Architecture, a hotel specialist.
He added an “alternative plan” for the Bermudiana Beach was developed to deal with the positioning of an infinity pool at the cliff edge of the site and a review of beach access.
Mr Burt said the new look for the resort would also enhance its spa, gym and members’ club.
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