Grand Atlantic *File photo
Grand Atlantic *File photo

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) has become aware of an application to further develop the site known as the Grand Atlantic on South Road in Warwick. The plan calls for 52 one-bedroom units in three 2-storey buildings with parking for 71 cars and 53 bikes.

Residents in the area and just about everyone who has passed by the the newly-built housing development on the Grand Atlantic site are still shocked by the assault on the senses from the unfortunate construction. The government indicated through the BHC that it would not be buying any more than the 78 units built so far, so any more development will be private and subjected to the regular planning process. That means that unlike the SDO that allowed the GA condos (and a hotel that never materialized), the current application can be viewed and objected to by any citizen. We encourage anyone who feels there has been enough already built at that site to submit an objection to the Department of Planning.

As we understand it, this application is, like so many others these days, incomplete which makes it difficult for Planners and the public to know exactly what is planned, and where. But the deadline for objecting is Friday 14 June, 2013 at 5pm.

There are several reasons to object to more development at that site:

1. This area was supposed to contain a hotel. Instead it is yet another case in which an SDO granted for a hotel/housing combination where the hotel has never been built. The Grand Atlantic now joins the infamous examples of Palmetto Bay and Tucker’s Point.

2. There is still the very real concern about potential for erosion of the cliff-face that has not been adequately addressed, particularly related to heavy weather erosion. All the questionable issues of traffic, density, noise, erosion, setbacks, aesthetics and the overall impact of this development on an already dense neighbourhood points to the necessity for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) — which should have been done before the first phase of development was approved.

3. Is there even a need for this additional stock of housing?

4. The zoning of this land is Tourism. While the Grand Atlantic SDO lifted that zoning for the condos, that SDO cannot unless amended be used for this development because, for one thing, the SDO stipulated 2-and 3-bedroom units while this development is for 1-bedroom units.

5 A traffic study is needed. Already the access/exit to the gas station is considered dangerous and ‘a serious accident waiting to happen’. Planners should know what impact can be expected from the maximum combined traffic of the existing development plus this new development plus the gas station and the row of commercial establishments across the road.

6. The development appears very dense for the lot size. Density-related issues such as noise, stress and crime ought to be examined and understood first.

7. ENOUGH ALREADY!  The existing development is an eyesore, a blight on that entire section of South Shore. What once was the gateway to the South Shore has been ruined. No additions should be permitted.

The application number is P0164/13; the applicant is Atlantic Development (BDA) Ltd.; objection letters can be delivered by hand to the Department of Planning on the 5th floor of the Dame Lois Browne-Evans building on Court Street to the attention of The Director, or sent via email to Cheryl Wright <cwright@gov.bm>. A sample letter to the Department of Planning will be placed on our website. The objections deadline is Friday 14 June, 2013.