Royal Gazette: Letter to the editor: Planning regulations are there for enforcing
A landowner cuts down a swath of protected nature reserve, including mature and dense native and endemic species, to create a “viewing corridor” to the sea. Against the decision of the Development Applications Board and the recommendation of the Director of Planning, the minister responsible for the environment allows him to get away with just a stern warning not to do it again. What kind of message does this send to other landowners who would seek to remove “inconvenient” areas of nature reserve or protected woodland on their property?
The Bermuda National Trust is extremely disappointed that the minister has allowed the retroactive application for “remediation of unauthorised woodland clearance” at Lot 9 Tucker’s Point.
In this case, the minister recognised that there had been “blatant disregard” for the nature reserve and its ecological significance. Nonetheless, he chose to agree with the landowner and his agents that the Band-Aid offer to replant a larger area of adjacent land with natives and endemics is sufficient recompense for the destruction of existing and irreplaceable mature woodland.
The BNT agrees with the Director of Planning that allowing the landowner to simply replant in another area with saplings in pots of three to five gallons is not an adequate response to the gross misconduct and overall destruction of protected habitat supporting a variety of life.