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Andrew Vaucrosson, President of Greenrock, explains our position on the Tucker's Point SDO.

Position Statement

Re: Tucker’s Point SDO
From: Greenrock Management Committee

SDOs have historically been used for planning decisions that unavoidably fall outside the planning approval framework already enshrined in Bermuda’s laws and regulations. The development of the US naval and airbases is an example of such an instance. Greenrock does not believe the development of green space  and protected land for commercial purposes falls outside the scope of normal planning decisions.

Bermuda’s current land‐use laws and regulations represent a comprehensive framework for balancing economic and environmental considerations. Environmental zoning has been put in place to protect the interests of the people of Bermuda over the long term. Therefore it is imperative that before granting an SDO which will take away conservation protection that a clear case is made that such a decision is in the long term interests of the people of Bermuda. Greenrock does not believe this case has been made for the Tucker’s Point SDO.

David Wingate (“Tucker’s Point SDO the environmental cost”, Royal Gazette Feb 16, 2011) has eloquently articulated the environmental value of the 240 acres of Bermuda land, and Stuart Hayward of BEST, in his article to the Royal Gazette (“SDO does not serve the public interest”, Royal Gazette Feb 28 2011) clearly presented the economic arguments that would have to be met to justify the SDO.

Supporting tourism is the stated basis for the SDO, yet we must ask what are the reasons for the decline in tourism in Bermuda? How would further development at Tucker’s Point address these problems?

We believe that a vital component of future high end tourism offerings is “eco tourism”; how can we give ourselves the option to develop this market in Bermuda if we build on our last remaining environmentally sensitive areas ?

The Government must place its decision to grant the SDO in the context of the overall plan for Bermuda’s economic future – and this it has failed to do

In short, the SDO, as currently conceived, has yet to be justified.

Greenrock believes that if the people of Bermuda are expected to sacrifice the long‐term value of a unique part of Bermuda’s environment, then the least that we deserve is a detailed and compelling economic case to be presented which must go beyond supporting the short term interests of private commercial enterprises.

We sincerely hope that the Senate in their capacity as a check and a balance in our system will recognise this and say the case has not been made ; in doing so they are acting on behalf of current and future generations of Bermudians.

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