A new online petition was drafted last night, against the Department of Planning and the Minister responsible for that department, amid deep concern about the proposed development at the Fairmont Southampton Princess hotel.

The petition, ‘Save our Green Space – Southampton Princess SDO’, was published on change.org by Edward Dawson, after the plans for the controversial expansion were made public on April 12.

The application includes six-storey residential buildings and an environmental impact report that says the 261 new units will have a “major” visual impact on the property.

The Economic Impact Report by PwC, which was submitted with the report, says the order in which different developments will be built is:

Turtle Hill “with income expected from pre-sales in Year 1”.

Golf Villas

Hilltop Villas

Golf Units

South Road Townhouses

The developers, Westend Properties, an affiliate of the Miami-based investment firm Gencom, plan to build the units over the next 20 years, in addition to upgrading the hotel building.

The hotel’s golf course will also be affected, with ten of its 40 acres earmarked to be concreted over.

But the completion date listed for phase one of the development was pushed back to the end of next year, when the Premier has stated that he anticipated the resort would be open by next year’s season.

The SDO was submitted to Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, last week.

Meanwhile, as of 9:30am the new’ ‘Save Our Green Space’ petition had garnered 283 signatures, which states:

“We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the proposed new Special Development Order (SDO) for the Southampton Princess hotel that would allow for more and taller buildings.

“The Southampton Princess hotel has long been a treasured landmark in our community, offering a beautiful and tranquil setting for visitors and residents alike. However, this proposed SDO threatens to change the character of the hotel and the surrounding area in ways that would be harmful to both the environment and our community.”

The petition goes on to say that “allowing taller and extra buildings” would have several negative effects:

  1. It would increase the hotel’s carbon footprint, as larger buildings require more energy to heat, cool, and maintain. 
  2. Increase the usage of Fresh water with no extra water catchment.
  3. Exacerbate the already serious problem of urban heat island effect, which can cause temperatures to rise by several degrees in densely built areas, making the area hotter and more uncomfortable for everyone.

“Moreover, the proposed SDO would detract from the natural beauty of the area. The Southampton Princess hotel is situated in a unique and picturesque location, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning ocean views. The addition of taller buildings would spoil this natural setting and mar the beauty of the area.

“Finally, we are concerned about the impact this proposed SDO would have on our community. The Southampton Princess hotel is a vital part of our community and has contributed greatly to our local economy. However, the proposed SDO would increase traffic and congestion in the area, making it more difficult for residents to get around.”

“We, therefore, urge you to reconsider the proposed SDO for the Southampton Princess hotel. Instead, we ask that you work with the community and stakeholders to develop a plan that preserves the natural beauty of the area, reduces the carbon footprint of the hotel, and supports the local economy.”

The proposed development has triggered public outrage as the environmental pushback begins, with local environment groups planning responses against the plans.

The plans are now available for public viewing at the Department of Planning’s customer self-service portal.

A hard copy is also available at the department’s front desk, in the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building and a notice was placed in the online Official Gazette, which includes the submission details and instructions for objecting and submitting representation.

It was also noted that It will be necessary to have a CSS account in order to comment on the submission.

The closing date for submissions is May 3.