WEDNESDAY, MAR. 30: The controversial Tucker’s Point expansion could still see more hotel rooms on the site.

A total of 70 hotel rooms slated for Quarry Hill were pulled from the amended proposal, which was approved on Monday by the House of Assembly.

But a Government spokeswoman said: “Expansion of the hotel is still keenly desired.

“Should the developers wish to proceed with hotel expansion, they will conduct the necessary environmental and topographical studies in advance.

“The application will then be considered through the normal planning process.”

A spokeswoman for Tucker’s Point declined to comment on the firm’s plans.

But it is understood that talks are already underway with government on the next step in the bid to rescue the struggling development.

MPs backed the revamped Special Development Order (SDO) this week after Senators approved the changes on Friday by seven votes to four.

MPs voted 18 to seven in favour of the proposal — which was amended after public protests about the loss of scarce open land in Bermuda.

Environment Minister Walter Roban said: “We’re confident that all involved understand the importance of enhancing our tourism product and rebuilding that most critical pillar of our economy.”

The House of Assembly vote follows last Friday’s approval of the amended SDO by Senate.

Senators backed the bid to relax zoning restrictions after the proposal was withdrawn by Government on Friday, March 18.

Mr. Roban said: “The desire was expressed that the government pause, reflect on the concerns raised and return with a compromise that addressed those concerns and issues.

“We immediately set out to continue consultations, to listen to the voices of the people and to address the concerns raised before returning with a proposal that could be supported.”

The proposals increased the amount of land donated to government by Rosewood Tucker’s Point to more than 41 acres and cut down on the number of proposed lots on the site.

Protesters picketed Cabinet Office while Senate debated the amended proposal.

Mr. Roban said: “I’m pleased that the public took full advantage of the opportunity that this government enabled for full and open public debate on the merits of the order.”

And he said that all SDOs would now be subject to parliamentary and public scrutiny in the future.

Mr. Roban also stressed that approval for the SDO does not mean approval for building work at Tucker’s Point and that any proposals would still have to gain planning permission.

He said: “Final approval for development would only be granted if the developer satisfies the Development Application Board that stringent conditions as outlined in the order have been met.”