Sir John Swan throws weight behind Gencom’s SDO proposal
Sir John Swan has given his backing to the controversial development of the Fairmont Southampton resort.
The former premier, who made his fortune in property development, said the type of proposal — which could see condominium blocks rising six storeys high on the resort property — was “nothing new” and could be “an asset” to the island.
The plans, released by resort developer Westend Properties last week, have sparked a wave of protest among environmental groups, while a petition calling for the project to be scaled back has attracted more than 3,200 signatures.
But in an opinion column in today’s Royal Gazette, Sir John dismissed the naysayers, saying that all Bermudians could benefit from the development.
He said: “We have seen other properties developed before and when tastefully done they are of benefit to all. These include Belmont Hills, St Regis, the waterside apartments at Tucker’s Point, Azure and even Loughlands units in Paget.”
Sir John said a lack of housing and hotel rooms were the biggest stumbling block in attracting new businesses to the island.
He said: “This redevelopment would afford units which are desperately needed to accommodate both our visitors and residents alike.”
He added that other benefits included increased employment and airlift.
“A kneejerk objection to any form of change is not what we need right now. If we choose to stand still, progress will just pass us by and move on to the next destination.”