The owners of the former Riddell’s Bay Golf Course have submitted a subdivision application to the Department of Planning to break up the land into 22 lots.

The plan, submitted by Castile Holdings earlier this month, will create new lots for luxury homes on the recreation-zoned land.

The proposed subdivision will see the development of seven homes on the western side of the property, nine on the eastern edge and two on the southeast side.

The centre of the site will remain undeveloped with four lots made up of four acres of open space, 12 acres of open-space woodland, 18 acres of nature reserve and 22 acres of land zoned for recreational use.

The master plan lays out the proposed Riddell’s Bay Gardens and Nature Reserve, described as “a unique and unprecedented model of conservation management in Bermuda”.

“The Riddell’s Bay project aims to reconvert and rehabilitate more than 66 acres of land, formerly occupied by a bankrupt golf course,” the document said.

“More than 38 acres will benefit from increased conservation zoning in areas identified as having prime ecological value. The financing to maintain and convert this extensive area into a combination of nature reserve, open space and recreational space will be entirely private and funded through the addition of low impact residential lots.

“In addition to restoring a once heavily treated area of open space, the proposal will allow for limited public access.”

According to the Bermuda Environmental Consulting report, 51 percent of the property will be a combination of coastal reserve, nature reserve and open space, with another 22 percent retained as recreational land.

“Private funding for the initiative will be achieved through the sale of three existing lots, plus the creation and sale of 18 new, low-density recreational lots through an endowment, to be set up through those sales coupled with monthly homeowners association fees.”

Residential lots will cover 23 acres, or 24.5 per cent of the site.

If approved, the report said the proposal would reduce the amount of recreational land, but the remainder of the land would receive greater use.

“As there is no current formal recreational use installed on the land, this change in zoning does not impact any user group or functionality, but primarily impacts the zoning pattern as articulated in the Draft 2018 Bermuda Plan,” the report said.

“In fact, public access will be enhanced and neighbourhood access will be formalised and both these groups will be able to utilise the site for passive recreation, thereby increasing the recreational functionality of the site over the current baseline.

“Therefore, though reduced in size, any material perception of loss of recreational-use lands is not expected given that 66 acres will, for the first time, be available for passive open-space activities by the area community.”

Some changes were made to the plan following consultation with residents and environmental groups, including members of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce.

Riddell’s Bay closed in March 2016 after nearly a century after the club failed to meet its operational costs.

The subdivision application can be seen at the Department of Planning offices in the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building on Court Street, in Hamilton.