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Love Beach project was passed on appeal

PROPOSED development plans of ‘The View at Love Beach’.

PROPOSED development plans of ‘The View at Love Beach’.

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

THE View Love Beach development was initially rejected by the Town Planning Committee only to be later approved by an appeals board.

 Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works with responsibility for Physical Planning, told Tribune Business that “the View Love Beach” project was approved in August, 2021, just a few weeks before the last general election.

Mr Smith also said the Town Planning Committee at the time – which was then headed by the current Free National Movement (FNM) Member of Parliament for St Anne’s, Adrian White – rejected the project. However, the project was later approved through the Town Planning Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (TPSDAC), which we were told had no chairman at the time of the approval in late August, 2021.

Mr Smith said: When the TPSDAC approved the project to proceed, letters went out to all of the community informing them of the board’s decision to allow the project to proceed. So persons in the community should have been aware of the decision made by the board.”

The composition of the original TPSDAC consisted of Pericles Maillis as chairman, who resigned for unknown reasons earlier in 2021, along with Claire Hepburn, former Attorney General and Senator under the FNM government in 2007-2008 as well as a retired supreme court justice, Patrick Rahming, Lloyd Turnquest, Stephen Melvin, and Casuarina McKinney-Lambert.

Ms McKinney-Lambert told Tribune Business that she “wasn’t there at the meeting when that matter came up” on the approval for The View Love Beach and said it must have been approved without the board’s knowledge or input.

When confronted with the fact that at the time of the approval, the board’s chairman Mr Maillis had already resigned, Ms McKinney-Lambert added: “The board hasn’t been meeting for a while, but I definitely didn’t see it.”

Tribune Business is not aware of anyone who was acting as chairman of the committee after Mr Maillis was said to have resigned.

Mr Smith also said: “Those boards have all now been dissolved after the last general elections and a new board has not been appointed yet. But at that time there would have been a board, which was appointed by the previous government at that time, but this is now a new government which will have a new TPSDC.”

Some of the concerns about The View Love Beach were addressed, however, by the TPSDAC, one of them was whether or not the project would have a hotel component to it. Mr Smith said: “I don’t think it calls for a hotel at all. Basically it will be residential accommodations, apartments and multi-family residential accommodations.

“I do know this was reviewed and approved by the TPSDAC. As said, the Town Planning Committee had refused it, but it was subsequently approved on appeal to the TPSDAC.

“With respect to the height restrictions, residents would want to know the question of restrictive covenants was extinguished and so there are no restrictive covenants regarding heights.”

Essentially this means the development can go higher than the allocated 55 feet in the air. “The project is going to proceed,” said Mr Smith.

Dr Mirko Kovats, the Austrian born billionaire and Lyford Cay resident is behind the project which had drawn opposition from the Love Beach community. Dr Kovats’ office has been trying hard to dampen any unease about the project.

Dr Kovats’s office representative, Dr Wolfgang Groeger, contacted this newspaper to ask Tribune Business: “What is controversial about investing $150m on our land in an approved investment?” Questioning such projects, he claimed, were “damaging The Bahamas’ reputation as a location for urgently needed FDI.”

Comments

bahamianson 6 months ago

Money is king , and those whom weild it are the masters, simple. We will never be equal, no matter all the talk. People with money and influence will always have a different strata to walk.

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

There is a law which has to be respected. That’s the purpose of the Appeals Board. Finally all morons understood that there are no restrictive covenants. Adrian White failed lawyer went into politics and predecessor Diane Holowesko Dunkley was even more incompetent fortunately resigned after short time. How should an Appeals Board decide against the law? $150 m damages lawsuit - fortunately there are decision makers who act responsibly as per the law and not as per stupidity of Self appointed lady lawyers. It’s good for the country to have this investment, and I am sure more will follow in this place of white and black crabs but few persons who understand what lies ahead. Dr.Kovats apparently has good and fearless lawyers.

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Bahamas2022 6 months ago

This man has balls. More to be expected regarding South Ocean - had Perry Christie approved there would be the third New Providence Casino Resort and if BahaMar would have been resolved in a reasonable way Izmirlian wouldn’t have to fight in court and the Christie government wouldn’t have to give away $300 m stamp duty to the Chinese. A lot of s..t will hit the fan.

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Emilio26 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Bahamas2022 as it relates to South Ocean I heard Albany already brought the old South Ocean Resort from over a year ago and they already got approval to build luxury condominiums and boutique hotels so therefore South Ocean is going to see a major positive impact from Albany in the coming months.

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tribanon 6 months ago

This project should have long ago been stopped dead in its tracks. The unscrupulous vulture Mirko Kovats thinks our country and its declining foreign exchange reserves are so desperate for FDI that he can get away with anything. He should be told "Thank you, but no" and then declared persona non grata.

Let Kovats find another small nation in the Caribbean to prey on. All Bahamians need to show this man that they have plenty of back-bone and no desire to be trampled on by his greed and great wealth. We have a serious shortage of land all over New Providence as it is, and the type, height and scale of The View Love Beach development project he is proposing is most unsuitable for the Love Beach area for way too many reasons that have already been repeatedly communicated to him.

Why hasn't our PM spoken up on behalf of the Bahamian people about this absurd project? Does Kovats now 'own' Davis?

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Emilio26 5 months, 4 weeks ago

So the same way how you don't approve of The View in Love Beach I guess you didn't approve of Albany in South Ocean being built neither.

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tribanon 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm on record as having been dead set against the Albany development from the very outset. But Watson and Ingraham were both handsomely rewarded by Joe Lewis and his co-investors for letting that project proceed. Watson even had the highway on the northern border of the Albany project named after him. That alone should tell you something!

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Emilio26 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Tribanon well the residents of South Ocean seem to be quite comfortable with Albany presently in there midst besides a few people I know that live in South Ocean told me they're glad Albany is there instead of a low cost government subdivision because it's no doubt it would've brought down property values in that area and to further add to my argument is low cost housing developments don't tend to do very very near coastal areas.

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Proguing 6 months ago

Anyone who has been to Love Beach and sees the above picture, will understand that this project is completely disproportionate for the area.

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Baha10 6 months ago

We need to free ourselves of the shackles of bureaucratic red tape that has stifled this Country’s development potential and in the process economically enslaved our people to be beholden to special interest groups with self serving agendas … if an Investor wants to invest in our Country and create employment … let him invest … indeed, a “Welcome and Thank You” might be a nice gesture … it is little wonder with such backward mentality questioning it would seem everything under the Sun that we have been left behind by the rest of the World and our young people have limited employment opportunities today in what should be “the greatest” small Nation in the World.

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lovingbahamas 6 months ago

Kovats is out to destroy Treasure Cay next. He may have made a lot of money somewhere but his track record is not great and he is generally not wanted by locals. But, if you have the money you can get anything done in the Bahamas!

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Bahamas2022 6 months ago

I would be very careful threatening investors. If this culture finds its way to international financial institutions and the global investment community, then Good Night Bahamas. The financial world is global and a boycott would be fatal for the country. Do we want another Haiti? Or Red China colony? Look at Hongkong.Hopefully the investor friendly government acts swiftly to educate some of these backward thinking Bahamians. 2022 will be decisive and we are sure the government knows much more than saying in public. Good luck Prime Minister and team!

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DWW 6 months ago

Hmmm..... now wouldnt LUPAP citing density and use be ever so useful right about now? we a bunch of jokers. "I can do it but you cant" mentality all over everywhere

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Maximilianotto 6 months ago

And if it’s 100% as per zoning regulations, density regulations and zero restrictive covenants? The rest is unfounded discussions by persons who have a loud voice but aren’t able to look into the details and facts. This low level of education is the tragedy of the country. Hopefully the New Day government will invest in education. Note that all this is read by the bailout financial institutions - not good if the law is disrespected even if by insufficient education.

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Proguing 5 months, 4 weeks ago

hmmm this reminds me of BPC when you had a bunch of cheerleaders for the project who popped out of nowhere, but always refused to state their interest in the venture....and we all know that ended....

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