The Minister of Home Affairs is urging residents to take time out to read the City of Hamilton Plan 2023 Consultative Draft “alongside the supporting information and share your information” moving forward.
He was speaking at a news conference held on Friday (Jan 20), to announce the end product marking “the culmination of extensive research and policy development by the Department of Planning”.
The Minister was joined at Fort Hamilton by Department of Planning Director, Mrs Victoria Cordeiro and her team, Mr Kenny Campbell and Mrs Tamsyn Doran.
The contents of the draft document were earmarked for consultation to generate “as much feedback as possible from members of the public and other stakeholders”.
“Comments received as part of this initial consultation exercise will be used to shape the Plan as it progresses through the various phases of the plan-making process towards adoption,” he added.
“To be clear, this is the earliest stage in the process and the first opportunity to influence the document’s content.”
The Minister also noted that the release of this Consultative Draft Plan “represents a new method of preparing land use plans in Bermuda”.
“We have adopted a 3-stage plan-making process, creating increased opportunities for meaningful public engagement,” said Mr Roban.
“Introducing another phase to the consultation process will increase public participation and create a framework that provides greater scope to resolve any issues early in the process,” said Mr Roban.
“Furthermore, the Plan is being released as a non-operative document, meaning that planning applications will continue to be determined against the existing City of Hamilton Plan 2015 until there is a fully adopted new plan.
“Again, this process helps to ensure that an operative Plan will only be in place following a rigorous public consultation, and we are satisfied that everyone has had the opportunity to contribute.”
Considerations around climate change are a constant theme of the Plan through:
• Inclusion of a strategic climate change policy;
• Supporting active travel;
• Requiring sustainable designs and construction techniques;
• Protecting the City’s green spaces;
• Promoting renewable energy;
• Ensuring flood risk is appropriately managed; and,
• Highlighting the role landscaping can play in providing natural adaptation measures.
The Plan also introduces the concept of requiring energy statements to be associated with some development proposals. Energy statements will ensure documented evidence demonstrating that applicants fully considered the energy needs of a proposed development and took steps to minimise those energy needs through design and exploring the use of renewables.
The Plan and all associated information are available on the Department of Planning’s website at www.planning.gov.bm. Any comments can be submitted to the Department at email@example.com. Also, the option of responding to a questionnaire embedded within the storymap version of the Plan is available via the Department’s website. The questionnaire is designed to garner feedback on key policy issues. This first consultation phase will run from today, 20th January, until 24th March 2023. Following the conclusion of this consultation phase, the Department will review all feedback and prepare a draft plan. Upon completion, this draft plan will also be widely publicised, providing an additional opportunity for comments to be submitted. Further details will be provided when we enter that phase.
Given that this plan marks a significant change in process and content to previous land use plans, we wanted to do something fun and different to raise awareness and generate debate about the Plan and the placemaking concept. Therefore, in support of the Plan, we will hold aplacemaking design competition. To participate,any individual or organisation must use the placemaking and design guiding principles from within the Plan to present a development concept for one or more of the strategic development sites identified within the Plan. A winner will be selected for each of the four sites. Complete details are available at planning.gov.bm.