Harbour development opponents ‘surprise’ over swift approval claim

Harbour development opponents ‘surprise’ over swift approval claim
Briland Residence and Marina

Balk at developer’s $100,000 pledge

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Opponents of the multi-million Briland Residence and Marina yesterday expressed ‘surprise’ over the developer’s swift approval claim, balking at the developer’s “shockingly small’ pledge to local institutions.

Br-Island Responsible Development Ltd. (BIRD) which had initiated court action to block 4M Harbour Island Limited’s development said in a statement yesterday that it was surprised that Nriland Residence and Marina developer Michael Wiener had issued a press release claiming approval when local council has not issued the same.

“If they have drafted such approval we would ask the council when they issued it and we would ask that they make such approval publicly available. If the Town Council has not issued approval already they will need to consider the two major points that were revealed at the Meeting and came as a complete surprise to Brilanders – before they consider granting any permissions. Where are the jobs? The Community was shocked to learn that Wiener admitted that he is no longer building a boutique hotel as promised. A “condotel” is now supposedly on the cards,” BIRD said.

BIRD questioned where the promised 75 jobs will come from, accusing the developer of making promises but failing to substantiate them.

Wiener said in a statement on Sunday he was “thrilled” the project can now resume having received approval from the Harbour Island District Council. He also announced the commitment of $500,000, paid in $100,000 installments over a five-year period to various local institutions.

A judge quashed the development’s permit and halted development in October after ruling the approvals granted by the Town Planning Committee to 4M Harbour Island Limited was unlawful. The developer had to apply to the island’s council for approval.

BIRD said, “Wiener in his latest press release seems to claim that he is willing to donate a $100,000 per year to local institutions. This seems shockingly small in comparison to what members of BIRD have contributed locally to the community in the terms of donations. In the last year alone in excess of million dollars has been donated collectively to various community institutions.

Ben Simmons has privately pledged $100,00 per year (indefinitely) to a new environmentally focused Green school on the island and already donated $65,000 to it’s inception without ever receiving a concession from the government. We would ask Wiener to reveal what concessions he been given and reveal the true price tag of this development and to try if can he can to match dollar the contributions that the BIRD community have donated. His bid for $100,000 per year for only five years has already been dwarfed.”