Rules for Tucker’s Point development relaxed

  • Opposition support: Cole Simons

An amendment to legislation governing development at Rosewood Tucker’s Point was approved by MPs on Friday.

The special development order related to the construction of homes at the resort and was tabled by Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs.

Mr Brown said: “This is one of, I hope, the least contentious matters that I have to be presenting to this Parliament.”

He said: “This order seeks to provide more flexibility to persons purchasing lots at Tucker’s Point, intending to develop their properties, by removing restrictions that were both rigid and prescriptive, without compromising the very important environmental controls necessary.”

Changes include a clause to ensure native species of plants are used in landscaping rather than invasive species.

Other clauses require conservation management plans for some lots which must be included with planning applications.

Mr Brown said that environmental groups the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, the Bermuda National Trust, and the Bermuda Audubon Society were consulted on the amendments.

He added that the Department of Planning had worked closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on finalising the amendments.

The legislation was tabled by Mr Brown last December and it was the only item up for debate as Parliament resumed after the Christmas break.

Cole Simons, One Bermuda Alliance MP, said the item had the support of the Opposition.

Mr Simons said: “Any investment in the resort will also improve Bermuda’s product.”

But he added that he had some concerns about how the removal of the word “applicant” from the legislation would affect the ability to hold developers accountable.

Mr Simons said: “To leave it out, as far as I am concerned, is irresponsible.”

Jamahl Simmons, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, said Rosewood was in safe hands with developer Gencom. He added: “We are very impressed with the vision that they have.”

Mr Simmons said: “I think Bermuda’s going to be very pleased with the contribution to the property and the work that will be done on the property.”

Jeanne Atherden, Leader of the Opposition, said the inclusion of clauses about environmental protection in the legislation was “really significant”.

Ms Atherden added: “The mere fact that there is what I call the prevention idea rather than the cure idea is very important.

“We obviously support the concept, and are very pleased that it is putting in place the type of protection Bermuda needs.”