Proposed Adelaide project draws

A proposed $200 million gated subdivision development in Adelaide has drawn strong criticism from some residents and environmentalists who called the project an “abominable development”.

But Robert Myers, the developer behind Adelaide Pines Limited, said yesterday the group has followed all lawful requirements and has a Certificate of Environmental Compliance.

The proposed site for the development is located east of the entrance to Albany.

Myers said that Albany is a minority partner in Adelaide Pines Limited.

The Department of Physical Planning held a public meeting on Wednesday evening at Adelaide Primary School where residents, Myers and other stakeholders discussed the project.

In attendance were Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, the minister of the environment; Minister of Labour and Immigration Keith Bell, former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and former Centreville MP Reece Chipman, among others.

Noted conservationist Pericles Maillis, whose property borders the proposed development, objects to the project.

“I hereby formally object inter alia to the proposal design and concept, which involves the obliteration of long natural geological wetland features,” he said.

Maillis also said, “Besides the very fact of the existence of this wetland as a geological feature, it overlays a great 40 to 60 foot fresh water lens and drains the surrounding water into it above and below ground. It is the recharge engine and a haven for wildlife and it has its own natural beauty.

“The public will never understand and if this obliteration of this wetland were to occur it will be a disgraceful stain on our nation and government and its departments and agencies and on the 50 plus or so non-governmental environmental and conservation organizations in the country.”

But Myers said due process was done and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management plan (EMP) were completed for the development.

“We have followed the legally binding process that the government has in place,” he said when called for comment yesterday.

“We have obtained a Certificate of Environmental Compliance.

“We are looking at getting Physical Planning subdivision approval. That was the purpose of the town hall last night.

“We presented that and we listened to all of the concerns, many of which had nothing to do with [the Department of] Physical Planning.

“The government and the department has to make their decision based on facts, not emotions.”

Regarding the environmental concerns raised during the meeting, Myers said the EIA and EMP answer each point.

“We have gone into all kinds of things [in the report],” he said.

“I’m not going to get into those on a one by one basis. If you are interested, pull that up and read it. Read it carefully because there is a lot of really good information that is there specifically to protect the environment and indigenous species and wetlands. Yes, we are creating constructed wetlands.  … We are relocating those to deal with drainage issues on the property – the existing wetlands.

“But we still want those constructed wetlands.”

In a joint letter to the editor today, residents Pam Burnside, Stephanie Roberts and Dr. Anita Osman strongly object to the project.

“It is unconscionable that such an abominable development as that proposed by Adelaide Pines Limited on this 21 by seven island of New Providence, be even remotely considered for such a precious heritage area as Adelaide, which deserves our respect and our protection,” they wrote.

“It certainly does not deserve another sprawling development!

“The outlandish scale of 170 plus homes along with other commercial and industrial structures (whose prohibitive costs will no doubt and yet again price Bahamians out of the market), the design, the purpose, in fact, the overall nature of the proposed gated development, totally disrespects the character of the area and exhibits no sense of place whatsoever.

“It is, in itself, offensive to us as Bahamians.”

Keenan Johnson, chairman of the Town Planning Committee, which would have to approve the project for it to go through, said the committee will make its decision on October 4.

“We are now in a position where we can discuss and review this proposal in its entirety,” he said yesterday.

“Having had the Town Planning public hearing, we are going to discuss what is being proposed in addition to the issues that arose at the public hearing.

“After discussions, we will make a decision as to whether, in its current form, the proposal will be approved or declined or whether we make any recommendations as to what we think would be more suitable for the area itself.”

‘Good neighbors’

The development is composed of a residential subdivision, a commercial component and a light industrial component. 

Myers explained that “light industrial” does not mean manufacturing.

“When we say light industrial, it’s really commercial, but not like shops,” he said.

“It’s more businesses.”

He noted that the group has had interest from a golf club supplier and a window company that want to set up business there.

“We want to be good neighbors,” Myers stressed.

He added, “There is a very high probability that we won’t do anything at all because of inflation and cost controls that are occurring globally.”

Inflation has caused the cost of some construction materials to soar.

“We are not selling to Albany members,” Myers added.

“We are not selling to people that aren’t price sensitive. We have a price-sensitive cap.

“This cost threatens the future development of middle-income cost housing and certainly lower-income … because it is so expensive to now put these projects forward, not just because of the new laws, but also because of the massive global inflation and cost of money, etc.

“Frankly, it is what is. I don’t have to do this project. It ain’t gonna make or break me.

“Yes, I will suffer because I put out a lot of money for all of this planning, consultation and effort into this thing.

“It’s going to be middle-income folks who are trying to live in a secure community that are going to get the short end of the stick when there is no availability.

“It’s not a threat, I’m just telling you that’s just the reality.”

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018.

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