It was not specified how many of the 120 dwellings would be for residential use and how many would be for tourism. When the site closed in May, there were a total of 86 units on the property.

At that time, owner David Dodwell said he believed the hotel would reopen in May 2011 with "permanent accommodation units" being a part of the resort's future. Mr Dodwell said: "Within a year, it is expected that the resort will be up and running with the first phase of the upgrade completed.

"The result will be a first class, mixed use development in a modernised Bermuda-themed manner, including a complete upgrade of the current over-the-water units, dockside restaurant and lounge, and the addition of new public space, permanent accommodation units and further enhancement of the resort's grounds and amenities."

The renovations mentioned in the notice included the construction of a reception area with a spa and fitness centre, restaurant and bar facilities, swimming pools and a dock extension. Mr Dodwell also said that the redeveloped hotel would not be an ecological resort, saying the approach was "probably a mistake."

Government recently passed a 117-year lease extension to the developers for the 17-acre property, with a further extension of 145 years expected should an amendment to the Base Lands Development Act be passed.

Chairman Stuart Hayward, of Bermuda Environment and Sustainability Taskforce (BEST), said the organisation was always concerned about such high-density developments.

"Nine Beaches was once touted as an ecotourism facility, though it never fulfilled that image. It is not encouraging that the ecotourism concept seems to have given way to a less environmentally sensitive development.

"We are also concerned when SDOs are granted, as oftentimes in recent years their granting has bypassed or short-circuited the very important role and regulatory oversight afforded by the Environmental and Planning agencies, and the Development Applications Board.

"We have yet to give this SDO close scrutiny and will likely have further comments once we have done so," Mr Hayward said.

A Greenrock spokesman said while they understood the urgency and national importance of reviving tourism SDO's were still a concern.

He said: "Greenrock's concerns on the use of SDO's is that they bypass the essential checks that are needed to ensure a project is being done in a sustainable way — that is, aside from benefiting our economy, will this project benefit our society and the environment. Does this project consider the importance of water and energy conservation, eco-friendly sewage treatment, use of renewable energy systems, and does this project meet the LEED principals for design, construction and maintenance?"

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